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TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
" A knowledge of the commonplace, at least, of Oriental literature, philo-
sophy, and religion is as necessary to the general reader of the present day
as an acquaintance with the Latin and Greek classics was a generation or so
ago. Immense strides have been made within the present century in these
branches of learning ; Sanskrit has been brought within the range of accurate
philology, and its invaluable ancient literature thoroughly investigated ; the
language and sacred books of the Zoroastrians have been laid bare ; Egyptian,
Assyrian, and other records of the remote past have been deciphered, and a
group of scholars speak of still more recondite Accadian and Hittite monu-
ments ; but the results of all the scholarship that has been devoted to these
subjects have been almost inaccessible to the public because they were con^
tained for the most part in learned or expensive works, or scattered through-
out the numbers of scientific periodicals. Messrs. TaCBNER & Co. , in a spirit
of enterprise which does them infinite credit, have determined to supply the
constantly-increasing want, and to give in a popular, or, at least, a compre-
hensive form, all this mass of knowledge to the world." Times.
Post 8vo, pp. 568, with Map, cloth, price i6s.
THE INDIAN EMPIRE : ITS HISTORY, PEOPLE,
Btfng a revised form of the article "India," in the "Imperial Gazetteer,"
remodelled into chapters, brought up to date, and incorporating
the general results of the Census of 1881.
Bi W. W. HUNTER, C.I.E., LL.D.,
Director-General of Statistics to the Government of India.
" The article 'India,' in Yolume IV., is the touchstone of the work, and proves
clearly enough the sterling metal of which it is wrought. It represent* the eatence
of the 100 volumes which contain the results of the statistical surrey conducted by
Dr. Hunter throughout each of the 940 districts of India. It iapforoover, the only
attempt that hat ever been made to show how the Indian people have bean built fcp.
*nd the evidence from the original materials haa been for the first time sifted and
examined by the light of the local research in which the autSor was for so tag
TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
FOLLOWING WORKS HAVE ALREADY APPEARED:
Second Edition, post 8vo, cloth, pp. xvi 428, price i6s.
ESSAYS ON THE SACRED LANGUAGE, WRITINGS,
AND RELIGION OF THE PARSIS.
BY MARTIN HAUG, PH.D.,
Lnte of the Universities of Tiibingen, Gottingen, and Bonn ; Superintendent
of Sanskrit Studies, and Professor of Sanskrit in the Pooua College.
EDITED BY DR. E. W. WEST.
I. History of the Researches into the Sacred Writings and Religion of the
Parsis, from the Earliest Times down to the Present.
II. Languages of the Parsi Scriptures.
III. The Zend-Avesta, or the Scripture of the Parsis.
IV. The Zoroastrian Religion, as to its Origin and Development.
" ' Essays on the Sacred Language, Writings, and Religion of the Parsis,' by the
late Dr. Martin Haug, edited by Dr. E. W. West. The author intended, on his return
from India, to expaud the materials contained in this work into a comprehensive
account of the Zoroastrian religion, but the design was frustrated by liis untimely
death. We have, however, in a concise and readable form, a history of the researches
into the sacred writings and religion of the Parsis from the earliest times down to
the present a dissertation on the languages of the Parsi Scriptures, a translation
of the Zend-Avesta, or the Scripture of the Parsis, and a dissertation on the Zoroas-
tri&n religion, with especial reference to its origin and development." Times.
Post 8vo, cloth, pp. viii. 176, price ys. 6d.
TEXTS FROM THE BUDDHIST CANON
COMMONLY KNOWN AS "DHAMMAPADA."
With Accompanying Narratives.
Translated from the Chinese by S. BEAL, B.A., Professor of Chinese,
University College, London.
The Dhammapada, as hitherto known by the Pali Text Edition, as edited
by Fausboll, by Max Mailer's English, and Albrecht Weber'g German
translations, consists only of twenty-six chapters or sections, whilst the
Chinese version, or rather recension, as now translated by Mr. Beal, con-
sist* of thirty-nine sections. The students of Pali who possess Fausboll's
text, or either of the above named translations, will therefore needs want
M|f. Beal's English rendering of the Chinese version ; the thirteen above-
named additional sections not being accessible to them in any other form ;
for, ev#n if they understand Chinese, the Chinese original would be un-
obtainable by them.
" Mr. Beal's rendering of the Chinese translation is a most valuable aid |fc the
critical study of the work. It contains authentic texts gathered from ancient
canonical books, and generally connected with some incident in the history of
Buddha. Their great interest, however, consists in the light wbich they throw ujwii
everyday life in India at the remote period at which they were written, and upon
the method of teaching adopted by the founder of the religion. The method
employed was principally parable, and the simplicity of the tale* and the excellence
of the morals inculcated, as well as the strange hold which they have retained upon
the minds of millions of people, make them a very remarkable study." Tiine*.
" Mr. Beal by making it accessible in an English dre*8, 1ms added to the great ser-
vices he has already rendered to the comparative study of religious history." Acvdemy.
'< Valuable as exhibiting the doctrine of the BuddhintH in its purest, leort adul-
terated form, it brings the modern reader face to face with that simple creed and rule
of conduct whicjflfcron its way over the minds of myriads, and which is now nominally
professed by 145 millions, who have overlaid its austere simplicity with innumerable
ceremonies, forgotten its maxims, perverted its teaching, and so inverted its leading
principle that a *eli#ion whose founder denied a God, now worships that founder 00
a god himself."
TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
Second Edition, post 8vo, cloth, pp. ixiv. 360, price IDS. 6d.
\ THE HISTORY OP INDIAN LITERATURE.
BY ALBRECHT WEBER.
Translated from the Second German Edition by JOHN MANN, M.A., and
TnrioDOR ZACHABIAE, Ph.D., with the sanction of the Author.
"Dft. BUHLER, Inspector of Schools in India, write*,: 4 ' When I was Pro-
fessor of Oriental Languages in Elphinstone College, I frequently felt the
want of such a work to which I could refer the students."
Professor COWELL, of Cambridge, writes : "It will be especially useful
to the students in our Indian colleges and universities. I used to long for
such a book when I was teaching in Calcutta. Hindu students are intensely
interested in the history of Sanskrit literature, and this volume will supply
them with all they want on the subject."
Professor WHITNEY, Yale College, Newhaven, Conn., U.S.A., writes :
" I was one of the class to whom the work was originally given in the form
of academic lectures. At their first appearance they were by far the most
learned and able treatment of their subject ; and with their recent additions
they still maintain decidedly the same rank."
" Is perhaps the most comprehensive and lucid survey of Sanskrit literature
extant. The essnvs contained in the volume were originally delivered as academic
lectures, and at the time of their first publication were acknowledged to be by far
the most learned and able treatment of the subject. They have now been brought
up to date by the addition of all the most important results of recent research."
Post 8vo, cloth, pp. xii. 198, accompanied by Two Language
Maps, price 123.
A SKETCH OF
THE MODERN LANGUAGES OF THE EAST INDIES.
BY ROBERT N. COST.
The Author has attempted to fill up a vacuum, the inconvenience of
which pressed itself on his notice. Much had been written about the
languages of the East Indies, but the extent of our present knowledge had
not even been brought to a focus. It occurred to him that it might be of
use to others to publish in an arranged form the notes which he had collected
for his own edification.
" Supplies a deficiency which has long been felt." Times.
" The book before us is then a valuable contribution to philological science. It
passes under review a vast number of languages, and it give, or professes to give, in
every case the sum and substance of the opinions and judgments of the best-informed
writers." Saturday Jievitw.
Second Corrected Edition, post 8vo, pp. xii. 116, cloth, price 53.
THE BIRTH OF THE WAR-GOD.
A Poem. BY KALIDASA.
Translated from the Sanskrit into English Verse by
RALPH T. H. GRIFFITH, M.A.
" A very spirited rendering of the Kumdratambhara, which was first published
twenty-six years ago, and which we are glad to see made once more accessible,"
"Mr. Griffith's very spirited rendering is well known to mosr who are at all
interested in Indian literature, or enjoy the tenderness of feeling and rich creative
imagination of its author." Indian Antiquary.
"we are very glad to welcome a second edition of Professor Griffith's admirable
translation. Few translations deserve a second edition better." -
TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
Post 8vo, cloth, pp. 432, price i6s.
A CLASSICAL DICTIONARY OF HINDU MYTHOLOGY
AND RELIGION, GEOGRAPHY, HISTORY, AND
BY JOHN DOWSON, M.R.A.S.,
Late Professor of Hindustani, Staff College.
In this work an ndeavour has been made to supply the long-felt want of
a Hindu Classical Dictionary. The main portion of this work consists of
mythology, but religion is bound up with mythology, and in many poiuts
the two are quite inseparable.
This work will be a book of reference for all concerned in the government
of the Hindus, but it will be more especially useful to young Civil Servants,
and to masters and students in the universities, colleges, and schools in India.
" This not only forms an indispensable book of reference to students of Indian
literature, but is also of great general interest, as it gives in a concise and easily
accessible form all that need be known about the personages of Hindu mythology
whose names are so familiar, but of whom so little is known outside the limited
circle of avant." Timet.
" It is no slight gain when such subjects are treated fairly and fully in a moderate
space ; and we need only add that the few wants which we may hope to see supplied
in new editions detract but little from the general excellence of Mr. Dowson's work."
Post 8vo, with View of Mecca, pp. cxii. 172, cloth, price 93.
SELECTIONS FROM THE KORAN.
BY EDWARD WILLIAM LANE,
Hon. Doctor of Literature, Leyden, &c., <fec. ; Translator of " The Thousaiid and One
Nights;" <kc., <tc.
A New Edition, Revised and Enlarged, with an Introduction by
STANLEY LANE POOLE.
"... Has been long esteemed in this country as the compilation of one of the
greatest Arabic scholars of the time, the late Mr. Lane, the well-kuowu translator of
the 'Arabian Nights.' . . . The present editor has enhanced the value of his
relative's work by divesting the text of a great deal of extraneous matter introduced
by way of comment, and prefixing an introduction."- Tima.
"Mr. Poole is both a generous and a learned biographer. ... Mr. Poole tells us
the facts ... so far as it is possible for industry and criticism to ascertain them,
and for literary skill to present them in a condensed and readable form." Enffli*h-
Post 8vo, pp. vi. 368, cloth, price 148.
MODERN INDIA AND THE INDIANS,
BEING A SERIES OP IMPRESSIONS, NOTES, AND ESSAYS.
BY MONIER WILLIAMS, D.C.L.,
Hon. LL.D. of the University of Calcutta, Hon. Member of the Bombay Asiatic
Society, Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford.
Third Edition, revised and augmented by considerable Additions,
with Illustrations and a Map.
Thii edition will be found a great improvement on those that preceded it.
The author has taken care to avail himself of all such criticisms on particular
passages in the previous editions as appeared to him to be just, and he hat
enlarged the work by more than a hundred pages of additional matter.
" In this volume we have the thoughtful Impressions of a thoughtful man on some
of the most important questions connected with our Indian Empire. ... An en-
lightened observant man, travelling among an enlightened observant people, Prof owor
Monier Williams has brought before the public in a pleasant form more of the manner*
ana customs of the Queen's Indian subjects than we ever remember to have seen in
ttny l2* 2f art He not ^y deserves the thanks of every Englishman for this able
contribution to the study of Modern India a subject with which we should be
specially familiar but he deserves tho thanks of every Indian, PHinee or Hm4u,
lluddhist and Moslem, for his clear exposition of their manners, their creed*, and
TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
Post 8vo, pp. xliv. 376, cloth, price 148.
METRICAL TRANSLATIONS FROM SANSKRIT
With an Introduction, many Prose Versions, and Parallel Passages from
BY J. MUIR, C.I.E., D.C.L., LL.D., Ph.D.
". . . An agreeable introduction to Hindu poetry." Ti met.
"... A volume which may be taken as a fair illustration alike of the religious
:md moral sentiments and of the legendary lore of the best Sanskrit writers."
Edinburgh Daily Review.
In Two Volumes, post 8vo, pp. viii. 408 and viii. 348, cloth, price 283.
MISCELLANEOUS ESSATS RELATING TO INDIAN
BY BRIAN HOUGHTON HODGSON, ESQ., F.R.S.,
Late of the Bengal Civil Service ; Corresponding Member of the Institute ; Chevalier
of the Legion of Honour ; late British Minister at the Court of Nepal, Ac., &c.
CONTENTS OF VOL. I.
SECTION I. On the Kocch, Bodo, and Dhimal Tribes. Part I. Vocabulary.
Part II. Grammar. Part III. Their Origin, Location, Numbers, Creed, Customs,
Character, and Condition, with a General Description of the Climate they dwell in.
SECTION II. On Himalayan Ethnology. I. Comparative Vocabulary of the Lan-
guages of the Broken Tribes of Ne*pal. II. Vocabulary of the Dialects of the Kiranti
Language. III. Grammatical Analysis of the Vayu Language. The Vayu Grammar.
IV. Analysis of the Bahing Dialect of the Kiranti Language. The Baching Gram-
mar. V. On the Vayu or Hayu Tribe of the Central Himalaya. VI. On the Kiranti
Tribe of the Central Himalaya.
CONTENTS OF VOL. II.
SECTION III. On the Aborigines of North-Eastern India. Comparative Vocabulary
of the Tibetan, B6d6, and Gar6 Tongues.
SECTION IV. Aborigines of the North-Eastern Frontier.
SECTION V. Aborigines of the Eastern Frontier.
SECTION VI The Indo-Chinese Borderers, and their connection with the Hitna
layans and Tibetans. Comparative Vocabulary of Indo-Chinese Borderers in Arakan.
Comparative Vocabulary ot Indo-Chinese Borderers in Tenasserim.
SECTION VII. -The Mongolian Affinities of the Caucasians. Comparison and Ana-
lysis of Caucasian and Mongolian Words.
SECTION VIII. Physical Type of Tibetans.
SECTION IX. The Aborigines of Central India. Comparative Vocabulary of the
Aboriginal Languages of Central India. Aborigines of the Eastern Ghats. Vocabu-
lary of some of the Dialects of the Hill and Wandering Tribes in the Northern Sircars,
Aborigines of the Nilgiris, with Remarks on their Affinities. Supplement to the
Nilgirian Vocabularies. The Aborigines of Southern India and Ceylon.
SECTION X. Route of Nepalese Mission to Pekin, with Remarks on the Water-
Shed and Plateau of Tibet.
SECTION XL Route from KAthmandu, the' Capital of Nepal, to Darjeeling in
Sikim. Memorandum relative to the Seven Costs of Nepal.
SECTION XII. Some Accounts of the Systems of Law and Police as recognised in
the State of Nepal.
SECTION XIII. The Native Method of making the Paper denominated Hindustan.
SECTION XIV. Pre-eminence of the Vernaculars ; or, the Anglicists Answered :
Being Letters on the Education of the People of India.
" For the study of the less-known races of India Mr. Brian Hodgson's 'Miscellane-
ous Essays ' will be found very valuable both to the philologist and the ethnologist."
TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
Third Edition, Two Vols., post 8yo, pp. viii. 268 and viii. 326, cloth,
THE LIFE OR LEGEND OF GAUDAMA,
THE BUDDHA OF THE BURMESE. With Annotations.
The Ways to Neibban, and Notice on the Phongyies or Burmese Monks.
BY THE RIGHT REV. P. BIGANDET,
Bishop of RamatJin, Vicar- Apostolic of Ava and Pegu.
"The work is furnished with copious notes, which not only illustrate the subjcet-
matter, but form a perfect encyclopaedia of Buddhist lore." Times.
"A work which will furnish European students of Buddhism wit h a most valuable
help in the prosecution of their investigations." Edinburgh Daily Review.
" Bishop Bigandet's invaluable work, . . . and no work founded rather trans-
lated from original sources presents to the Western student a more faithful picture
than that of Bishop Bigandot." Indian Antiquary.
" Viewed in this light, its importance is sufficient to place students of the subject
under a deep obligation to its author." Calcutta Rcvinc.
"This work is one of the greatest authorities upon Buddhism." Dublin Rrrieir.
"... A performance the great value oi which is well known to all btudents of
Post 8vo, pp. xxiv. 420, cloth, price i8s.
A VOLUME OF SKETCHES, HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL.
BY J. EDKINS, D.D.
Author of " China's Place in Philology," " Religion in China," &c. &c.
'It contains a vast deal of important information on the subject, such as is only
to be g.imed by long-continued tudy on the spot." Athetimum.
" It is impossible within our limits even fc> mention the various subjects connected
with Buddhism with which Dr. Edkins deals." Saturday Renew.
"Upon the whole, \\c know of no work comparable to it for the extent of it
original research, and the simplicity wifh which this complicated system of philo-
sophy, religion, literature, and ritual is set forth." Briti&k Quarterly Review.
" The whole volume is replete with learning. ... It deserves most careful study
from all interested in the history of the religion* of the world, and expressly of those
who are concerned in the propagation of Christianity. Dr. Edkins notices in terms
of just condemnation the exaggerated piaise bestowed upon Buddhism by recent
English writers." Record.
Second Edition, post 8vo, pp. xxvi. 244, cloth, price IDS. 6d.
OR, ROSE GARDEN OF SHEKH MUSHLIU'D-DIN SADI OF SHIRAZ.
Translated for the First Time into Prose and Verse, with an Introductory ,
Preface, and a Life of the Author, from the Atiah Kadah,
BY EDWARD B. EASTWICK, C.B., M.A., F.R.S., M.R.A.S.,
Of Merton College, Oxford, &c.
" It is a very fair rendering of the original. "-Time*.
" The new edition has long beet) desired, and will be welcomed by all who take
any interest in Oriental poetry. The Qulittan is a typical Persian verse-book of tho
highest order. Mr. Eaatwick's rhymed translation . . . has Jong established itself iu
u secure position as the best version of Badi's finest work." Academy.
" It is both faithfully and gracefully executed." Tablet*
TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
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LINGUISTIC AND ORIENTAL ESSAYS.
WRITTEN FROM THE YEAR 1846 TO 1878.
BY ROBERT NEEDHAM CUST,
Late Member of Her Majesty's Indian Civil Service ; Hon. Secretary to
the Royal Asiatic tSooiety ;
and Author of " The Modern Languages of the East Indies."
" We know none who lias described Indian life, especially the life of the natives,
with so much learning, sympathy, and literary talent." Academy.
" It is impossible to do justice to any of these essays in the space at our command. .
But they seem to us to be full of suggestive and original remarks." -Si. James's Gazette.
" His book contains a vast amount of information, ... of much interest to every
intelligent reader. It is, he tells us, the result of thirty-five years of inquiry,
reflection, and speculation, and that on subjects as full of fascination as of food for
"The essays exhibit suoh a thorough acquaintance with the history and
antiquities of India as to entitle him to speak as one having authority." Edinburgh
" The author sjHjaks with the authority of personal experience It is this
constant association with the country and the people which gives such a vividness
to many of the pages." Athaia'vm.
Post 8vo, pp. civ. 348, cloth, price i8s.
BUDDHIST BIETH STORIES; or, Jataka Tales.
The Oldest Collection of Folk-lore Extant :
BEING THE JATAKATTHAVANNANA,
For the first time Edited in the original Pali.
BY V. FAUSBOLL ;
And Translated by T. W. RHYS DAVIDS.
Translation. Volume I.
"These are talcs supposed to have been told by the Buddha of what he had seen
and heard in his previous births. They arc piobably the nearest representatives
of the original Aryan stories from which sprang the folk-lore of Europe as well as
India, and from which the Semitic nations also borrowed much The introduction
contains a most interesting disquisition on the migrations of those fables, tracing
their reappearance in the various groups of folk-lore legends respectively known as
' ,Ksop's Fables,' the ' Hitopadosa,' the Calling and Damnag series, and even The
Arabian Nights." Among other old friends. v\e meet with a version of the Judgment
of Solomon, which proves, after all, to be an Aryan, and not a Semitic talc." Times.
" It is now some years since Mr. Rhys Davids asserted his right to be heard on
this subject by his able article on Buddhit.ni in the ne\\ edition of the ' Encyclopedia
Britannica.'" Leeds Mercury.
"All who are interested in Buddhist literature ought to feel deeply indebted to
Mr. Rhys Davids. His well-established reputation as a Pali scholar is a sufficient
guarantee for the fidelity of his version, ana the style of his translations is deserving
of high yrateo." Academy.
" It is certain that no more competent expositor of Buddhism could be found than
Mr. lUiys Davids, and that these Birth Stories will be of the greatest interest and
importance to students. In the Jataka book we have, then, a priceless record of the
earliest imaginative literature of our race ; and Mr. Rhys Davids is well warranted
in claiming that it presents to us a nearly complete picture of the social life and
customs and popular beliefs of the common people of Aryan tribes, closely related to
ourselves, just as they wore passing through the first stages ol civilisation." -/&.
TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
Post 8vo, pp. xxviii. 362, cloth, price 148.
A TALMUDIC MISCELLANY;
OR, A THOUSAND AND ONE EXTRACTS FROM THE TALMUD,
THE MIDRASHIM, AND THE KABBALAH.
CompHed and Translated by PAUL ISAAC HERSHON,
Author of ** Genesis According to the Talmud," &c.
With Notes and Copious Indexes.
" To obtain in so concise and handy a form as this volume a general idea of the
Talmud is a boon to Christians at least." Times.
" This is a new volume of the ' Oriental Series,' and its peculiar and popular
character will make it attractive to general leaders. Mr. Hershou is a very com-
petent scholar. . . . The present selectioii contains samples of the good, bad, and
indifferent, and especially extracts that throw light upon the Scriptures. The
extracts have been all derived, word for word, and made at first hand, and references
are carefully given." British Quarterly JKcvicic.
" Mr Hcrshon's book, at all events, will convey to English readers a more complete
and truthful notion of the Talmud than any other work that has yet appeared."
" Without overlooking in the slightest the several attractions of the previous
volumes of the ' Oriental feeries.' we have no hesitation in saying that this surpasses
them all in interest." Edinburgh Daily Jicvtew.
" Mr. Hershon has done this ; he has taken samples from all parts of the Talmud,
and thus given English readers what is, we believe, a fair set of specimens which
they can test for themselves." The Record.
" Altogether we believe that this book is by far the best fitted in the present state
of knowledge to enable the general reader or the ordinary student to gain a fair and
unbiassed conaeption of the multifarious contents of the wonderful miscellany which
can dnly be truly understood so Jewish pride asserts by the life-long devotion of
scholars of the Chosen People." hifjtnrci:
" The value and importance of this volume consist in the fact that scarcely a single
extract is given in its pages but throw** some light, direct or refracted, upon those
Scriptures which are the common heritage of Jew and Christian alike." John Bull.
" His acquaintance with the Talmud, <tc , is seen on every page of his book . .
It is a capital specimen of Hebrew scholarship ; a monument of learned, loving, light-
giving labour.' Jeicush Herald.
Post 8vo, pp. xii. 228, cloth, price 73. 6d.
THE CLASSICAL POETRY OF THE JAPANESE.
BY BASIL HALL CHAMBERLAIN,
Author of " Yeigo Henkaku Shiraft."
" A very curious volume. The author has manifestly devoted much labour to the
task of studying the poetical literature of the Japanese, and rendering characteristic
specimens into English verse." Daily News.
" Mr. Chamberlain's volume is, so far as we are aware, the first attempt which has
been made to interpret the literature of the Japanese to the western world. Jt is to
the classical poetry of Old Japan that we must turn for indigenous Japanese thought,
and in the volume before us we have a selection from that poetry rendered into
graceful English verse." Tablet.
"It is undoubtedly one of the best translations of lyric literature which has
appeared during the close of the last year." Cdextial Empire.
11 Mr. Chamberlain set himself a difficult task when he undertook to reproduce
Japanese poetry in an English form. But he has evidently laboured con amm-e, and
his efforts are successful to a degree." London and Chin
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Post 8vo, pp. xii. 164, cloth, price ios. 6d.
THE HISTOEY OF ESARHADDON (Son of Sennacherib),
KING OF ASSYRIA, B.C. 681-668.
Translated from the Cuneiform Inscriptions upon Cylinders and Tablets in
the British Museum Collection ; together with a Grammatical Analysis
of each Word, Explanations of the Ideographs by Extracts from the
Bi-Lingual Syllabaries, and List of Eponyms, &c.
BY ERNEST A. BUDGE, B.A., M.R.A.S.,
Assyrian Exhibitioner, Christ's College, Cambridge, Member of the
Society of Biblical Archaeology.
"Students of scriptural archaeology will also appreciate the 'History of Esar-
haddon.' " Times.
11 There is much to attract the scholar in this volume. It does not pretend to
popularise studies which are yet in their infancy. Its primary object is to translate,
but it does not assume to be more than tentative, and it offers both to the professed
Assyriologist and to the ordinary non-Assyriological Semitic scholar the means of
controlling its results." Academy.
"Mr. Budge's book is, of course, mainly addressed to Assyrian scholars and
students. Ttiey are not, it is to be feared, a very numeious class. But the more
thanks are due to him on that account for the way in which he has acquitted himself
in his laborious task." Tablet.
Post 8vo, pp. 448, cloth, price 2is.
(Usually known as THE MKSNEVITI SHERIF, or HOLY MESNEVI
MEVLANA (OUR LORD) JELALU 'D-DIN MUHAMMED EK-RUMI.
Book the First.
Together with some Account of the Life and Acts of the Author,
of his Ancestors, and of his Descendants.
Illustrated by a Selection of Characteristic Anecdotes, as Collected
by their Historian,
MEVLANA SHEMSU-'D-DIN AHMED, EL EFLAKI, EL 'Aum.
Translated, and the Poetry Versified, in English,
BY JAMES W. REDHOUSE, M.R.A.S., &c.
" A complete treasury of occult Oriental lore." Saturday Review.
11 Tins book will be a very \aluable help to the reader ignorant of Persia, who is
desirous of obtaining on insight into a very important department of the literature
extant in that language." Tablet.
Post 8vo, pp. xvi. 280, cloth, price 6s.
EASTERN PROVERBS AND EMBLEMS
ILLUSTRATING OLD TRUTHS.
BY REV. J. LONG,
Member of the Bengal Asiatic Society, F.R.G.S.
" We regard the book as valuable, and wish for it a wide circulation and attentive
" Altogether, it is quite a feast of good things." Globe.
"Is full of interesting matter." Antiquary,
TRtSBNtiR'S ORIENTAL SERIES.
Post 8vo, pp. viii. 270, cloth, price 75. 6d.
X INDIAN POETRY;
Containing a New Edition of the " Indian Song of Songs," from the Sanscrit
of the "Gita Govinda" of Jayadeva ; Two Books from "The Iliad of
India" (Mahabharata), "Proverbial Wisdom " from the Shlokas of the
Hitopadeaa, and other Oriental Poems.
BY EDWIN ARNOLD, C.S.I., Author of "The Light of Asia."
" In this new volume of Messrs. Trttbner's Oriental Series, Mr. Edwin Arnold does
good service by illustrating, through the medium of his musical English melodies,
the power of Indian poetry to stir European emotions. The ' Indian Bong of Bongs '
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THE RELIGIONS OF INDIA.
BT A. BARTH.
Translated from the French with the authority and assistance of the Author.
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date ; the translation may, therefore, be looked upon as an equivalent of ;i
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THE SANKHYA KARIKA OF IS'WARA KRISHNA.
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BY JOHN DAVIES, M.A. (Cantab.), M.R.A.S.
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X THE SARVA-DARSANA-SAMQRAHA;
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TIBETAN TALES DERIVED FROM INDIAN SOURCES.
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Language as the Expression of National The Connection between Dictionary and
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THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS
Hymn to Vishnu ......... 3
Sarga the First The Sports of Krishna .... 9
Sarga the Second The Penitence of Krishna . . .22
Sarga the Third Krishna troubled 31
Sarga the Fourth Krishna cheered . . . . -37
Sarga the Fifth The Longings of Krishna .... 44
Sarga the Sixth Krishna made bolder .... 54
Sarga the Seventh Krishna supposed false .... 59
Sarga the Eighth The Rebuking of Krishna . . -75
Sarga the Ninth The End of Krishna's Trial ... 79
Sarga the Tenth Krishna in Paradise .... 83
Sarga the Eleventh The Union of Radha and Krishna . 88
MISCELLANEOUS ORIENTAL POEMS
The Rajpoot Wife roi
King Saladin 113
The Caliph's Draught 132
Hindoo Funeral Song 137
Song of the Serpent Charmers 138
Song of the Flour- Mill 140
Taza ba Taza 142
The Mussulman Paradise 146
Dedication of a Poem from the Sanskrit . . . 1 5
The Rajah's Ride . 15 r
Two BOOKS FROM THE " ILIAD OF INDIA " . . 159
The Great Journey ... . 172
The Entry into Heaven . .... 192
THE NIGHT OF SLAUGHTER . . . . . . .210
THE MORNING PRAYER .216
PROVERBIAL WISDOM FROM THE SHLOKAS OF THE HITOPADE^A . 221
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
REVERENCE TO GAKESHA !
" THE sky is clouded ; and the wood resembles
The sky, thick-arched with black Tamala boughs ;
Radha, Radha ! take this Soul, that trembles
In life's deep midnight, to Thy golden house."
So Nanda spoke, and, led by Radha's spirit,
The feet of Krishna found the road aright ;
Wherefore, in bliss which all high hearts inherit,
Together taste they Love's divine delight.
He who wrote these things for thee,
Of the Son of Wassoodee,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Was the poet Jayadeva ;
Him Saraswati gave ever
Fancies fair his mind to throng,
Like pictures palace-walls along ;
Ever to his notes of love
Lakshmi's mystic dancers move.
If thy spirit seeks to "brood
On Hari glorious, Hari good ;
If it feeds on solemn numbers,
Dim as dreams and soft as slumbers,
Lend thine ear to Jayadev,
Lord of all the spells that save.
Glows like roses after rain ;
Sharan's stream-like song is grand,
If its tide ye understand ;
Bard more wise beneath the sun
Is not found than Govardhun ;
Dhoyi holds the listener still
With his shlokes of subtle skill ;
at for sweet words suited well
Jayadeva doth excel.
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 3
( What follows is to the Music MALAVA and the Mode
HYMJST TO VISHNU.
thou that held'st the blessed Veda dry
When all things else beneath the floods were hurled ;
Strong Fish-God ! Ark of Men ! Jai ! JIaxi,jai !
Hail, Keshav, hail ! thou Master of the world !
The round world rested on thy spacious nape ;
Upon thy neck, like a mere mole, it stood :
thou that took'st for us the Tortoise-shape,
Hail, Keshav, hail ! Ruler of wave and wood !
The world upon thy curving tusk sate sure,
Like the Moon's dark disc in her crescent pale ;
thou who didst for us assume the Boar,
Immortal Conqueror ! hail, Keshav, hail !
When thou thy Giant-Foe didst seize and rend,
Fierce, fearful, long, and sharp were fang and nail ;
Thou who the Lion and the Man didst blend,
Lord of the Universe ! hail, Narsingh, hail !
4 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Wonderful Dwarf ! who with a threefold stride
Cheated King Bali where thy footsteps fall
Men's sins, O Wamuna ! are set aside :
O Keshav, hail ! thou Help and Hope of all !
The sins of this sad earth thoii didst assoil,
The anguish of its creatures thou didst heal";
Freed are we from all terrors by thy toil :
Hail, Purshuram, hail ! Lord of the biting steel !
To thee the fell Ten-Headed yielded life,
Thou in dread battle laid'st the monster low !
Ah, Rama ! dear to Gods and men that strife ;
We praise thee, Master of the matchless bow !
With clouds for garments glorious thou dost fare,
Veiling thy dazzling majesty and might,
As when Yamuna saw thee with the share,
A peasant yet the King of Day and Night.
Merciful-hearted ! when thou earnest as Boodh
Albeit 'twas written in the Scriptures so
Thou bad'st our altars be no more imbrued
With blood of victims : Keshav ! bending low
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
We praise thee, Wielder of the sweeping sword,
Brilliant as curving comets in the gloom,
Whose edge shall smite the fierce barbarian horde ;
Hail to thee, Keshav ! hail, and hear, and come,
And fill this song of Jayadev with thee,
And make it wise to teach, strong to redeem,
And sweet to living souls. Thou Mystery !
Thou Light of Life ! Thou Dawn beyond the dream !
Fish ! that didst outswim the flood ;
Tortoise ! whereon earth hath stood ;
Boar ! who with thy tush held'st high
The world, that mortals might not die ;
Lion ! who hast giants torn ;
Dwarf ! who laugh'dst a king to scorn ;
Sole Subduer of the Dreaded !
Slayer of the many -headed !
Mighty Ploughman ! Teacher tender !
Of thine own the sure Defender !
Under all thy ten disguises
. Endless praise to thee arises.
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
( What follows is to the Music GuRJJAftt and the Mode
Endless praise arises,
O thou God that liest
Bapt, on Kumla's breast,
Happiest, holiest, highest !
Planets are thy jewels,
Stars thy forehead-gems,
Set like sapphires gleaming
In kingliest anadems ;
Even the great gold Sun-God,
Blazing through the sky,
Serves thee but for crest-stone,
Jaiy jai ! Hari, jai !
As that Lord of day
After night brings morrow,
Thou dost charm away
Life's long dream of sorrow.
As on Mansa's water
Brood the swans at rest,
So thy laws sit stately
On a holy breast
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
0, Drinker of the poison !
Ah, high Delight of earth !
What light is to the lotus-buds,
What singing is to mirth,
Art thou art thou that slayedst
Madhou and Narak grim ;
That ridest on the King of Birds,
Making all glories dim.
With eyes like open lotus-flowers,
Bright in the morning rain,
Freeing by one swift piteous glance
The spirit from Life's pain :
Of all the three Worlds Treasure !
Of sin the Putter-by !
O'er the Ten-Headed Victor !
Jai Hari ! Hari ! jai !
Thou Shaker of the Mountain !
Thou Shadow of the Storm !
Thou Cloud that unto Lakshmi's face
Comes welcome, white, and warm !
O thou, who to great Lakshmi
Art like the silvery beam
Which moon-sick chakors feed upon
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
By Jumna's silent stream,
To thee this hymn ascendeth,
That Jayadev doth sing,
Of worship, love, and mystery ;
High Lord and heavenly King !
And unto whoso hears it
Do thou a blessing bring
Whose neck is gilt with yellow dust
From lilies that did cling
Beneath the breasts of Lakshmi,
A girdle soft and sweet,
When in divine embracing
The lips of Gods did meet ;
And the beating heart above
Of thee Dread Lord of Heaven !
She left that stamp of love
By such deep sign be given
Prays Jayadev, the glory
And the secret and the spells
Which close-hid in this story
Unto wise ears he tells.
END. OF INTRODUCTION.
( 9 )
SARGA THE FIRST.
THE SPORTS OF KRISHNA.
BEAUTIFUL Eadba, jasmine-bosomed Eadha,
All in the Spring-time waited by the wood
For Krishna fair, Krishna the all-forgetful,
Krishna with earthly love's false fire consuming
And some one of her maidens sang this song :
( What follows is to the Music VASANTA and the Mode
I know where Krishna tarries in these early days of
When every wind from warm Malay brings fragrance
on its wing ;
10 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Brings fragrance stolen far away from thickets of the
In jungles where the bees hum and the Koil flutes her
He dances with the dancers, of a merry morrice one,
All in the budding Spring-time, for 'tis sad to be alone.
I know how Krishna passes these hours of blue and gold,
When parted lovers sigh to meet and greet and closely
Hand fast in hand ; and every branch upon the Vakul-
Droops downward with a hundred blooms, in every
bloom a bee ;
He is dancing with the dancers to a laughter-moving
In the soft awakening Spring-time, when 'tis hard to
Where Kroona-flowers, that open at a lover's lightest
Break, and, for shame at what they hear, from white
blush modest red ;
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. n
And all the spears on all the boughs of all the Ketuk-
Seem ready darts to pierce the hearts of wandering
youths and maids ;
'Tis there thy Krishna dances till the merry drum is
All in the sunny Spring-time, when who can live alone ?
Where the breaking forth of blossom on the yellow
Dazzles like Kama's sceptre, whom all the world obeys;
And Patal-buds fill drowsy bees from pink delicious
As Kama's nectared goblet steeps in languor human
There he dances with the dancers, and of Radha thinketh
All in the warm new Spring-tide, when none will live
Where the breath of waving MMhvi pours incense
through the grove,
And silken Mogras lull the sense with essences of
12 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
The silken-soft pale Mogra, whose perfume fine and faint
Can melt the coldness of a maid, the sternness of a
There dances with those dancers thine other self, thine
All in the languorous Spring-time, when none will live
Where as if warm lips touched sealed eyes and waked
them all the bloom
Opens upon the mangoes to feel the sunshine come ;
And Atimuktas wind their arms of softest green about,
Clasping the stems, while calm and clear great Jumna
spreadeth out ;
There dances and there laughs thy Love, with damsels
many an one,
In the rosy days of Spring-time, for he will not live
Mark this song of Jayadev !
Deep as pearl in ocean-wave
Lurketh in its lines a wonder
Which the wise alone will ponder :
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 13
Though it seemeth of the earth,
Heavenly is the music's birth ;
Telling darkly of delights
In the wood y of wasted nights,
Of witless days, and fruitless love,
And false pleasures of the grove,
And rash passions of the prime,
And those dances of Spring-time ;
Time, which seems so subtle-sweet,
Time, which pipes to dancing-feet,
Ah ! so softly ah ! so sweetly
TJiat among tJwse wood-maids featly
Krishna cannot choose but dance,
Letting pass life's greater chance.
Yet the winds that sigh so
As they stir the rose,
Wake a sigh from Krishna
Wistfuller than those ;
All their faint breaths swinging
The creepers to and fro
Pass like rustling arrows
Shot from Kama's bow :
14 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Thus among the dancers
What those zephyrs bring
Strikes to Krishna's spirit
Like a darted sting.
And all as if far wandered
The traveller should hear
The bird of home, the Koi'l,
With nest-notes rich and clear ;
And there should come one moment
A blessed fleeting dream
Of the bees among the mangoes
Beside his native stream ;
So flash those sudden yearnings,
That sense of a dearer thing,
The love and lack of Eadha
Upon his soul in Spring.
Then she, the maid of Eadha, spake again, ;
And pointing far away between the leaves
Guided her lovely Mistress where to look,
And note how Krishna wantoned in the wood
Now with this one, now that ; his heart, her prize,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Panting with foolish passions, and his eyes
Beaming with too much love for those fair <
Fair, but not so as Eadha ; and she sang :
(What follows is to the Music EAMAGIR! and the Mode
See, Lady ! how thy Krishna passes these idle hours
Decked forth in fold of woven gold, and crowned with
And scented with the sandal, and gay with gems of
Eubies to mate his laughing lips, and diamonds like his
In the company of damsels,* who dance and sing and
Lies Krishna, laughing, toying, dreaming his Spring away.
One, with star-blossomed champak wreathed, wooes
him to rest his head
On the dark pillow of her breast so tenderly outspread ;
* It will be observed that the "Gopis" here personify the five
senses. Lassen says, " Manifestum est puettis istis nil aliud significari
quam res sensiles."
16 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
And o'er his brow with roses blown she fans a fragrance
That falls on the enchanted sense like rain in thirsty air,
While the company of damsels wave many an odorous
And Krishna, laughing, toying, sighs the soft Spring
Another, gazing in his face, sits wistfully apart,
Searching it with those looks of love that leap from
heart to heart ;
Her eyes afire with shy desire, veiled by their lashes
Speak so that Krishna cannot choose but send the
In the company of damsels whose bright eyes in a ring
Shine round him with soft meanings in the merry light
The third one of that dazzling band of dwellers in the
Body and bosom panting with the pulse of youthful
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 17
Leans over him, as in his ear a lightsome thing to
And then with leaf-soft lip imprints a kiss below his
A kiss that thrills, and Krishna turns at the silken touch
To give it back ah, Eadha ! forgetting thee too much.
And one with arch smile becokns him away from
Where the tall bamboos bristle like spears in battle-
And plucks his cloth to make him come into the mango-
Where the fruit is ripe and golden, and the milk and
cakes are laid :
Oh! golden-red the mangoes, and glad the feasts of
And fair the flowers to lie upon, and sweet the dancers
Sweetest of all that Temptress who dances for him now
With subtle feet which part and meet in the Kas-
1 8 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
To the chime of silver bangles and the beat of rose-leaf
And pipe and lute and cymbal played by the woodland
So that wholly passion-laden eye, ear, sense, soul o'er-
Krishna is theirs in the forest; his heart forgets its home.
Krishna, made for heavenly things,
'Mid those woodland singers sings;
With those dancers dances featly,
Gives back soft embraces sweetly;
Smiles on that one, toys with this,
Glance for glance and kiss for kiss ;
Meets the merry damsels fairly,
Plays the round of folly rarely,
Zapped in milk-warm spring-time weather,
He and those brown girls together.
And this shadowed earthly love
In the twilight of the grove,
Dance and song and soft caresses,
Meeting looks and tangled tresses,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 19
Jayadev the same hath writ,
That ye might have gain of it,
Sagely its deep sense conceiving
And its inner light believing ;
How that Love the mighty Master,
Lor A of all the stars that duster
In the sky, swiftest and slowest,
Lord of highest, Lard of lowest
Manifests himself to mortals,
Winning them towards the portals *
Of his secret House, the gates
Of that bright Paradise which waits
The wise in love. Ah, human creatures !
Even your phantasies are teachers.
Mighty Love makes sweet in seeming
Even Krishna's woodland dreaming ;
Mighty Love sways all alike
From self to selflessness. Oh ! strike
From your eyes the veil, and see
What Love willeth Him to be
Who in error y but in grace,
Sitteth with that lotus-face,
And those eyes whose rays of heaven
Unto phantom-eyes are given;
20* THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Holding feasts of foolish mirth
With these Visions of the earth ;
Learning love, and love imparting ;
Yet with sense of toss upstarting :
For the cloud that veils the fountains
Underneath the Sandal mountains,
How as if the sunshine drew
All its being to the Hue
It takes flight, and seeks to rise
High into the purer skies,
High into the snow and frost,
On the shining summits lost !
Ah ! and how the Roll's strain
Smites the traveller with pain,
When the mango blooms in spring,
And " Koohoo" " Koohoo" they sing
Pain of pleasures not yet won,
Pain of journeys not yet done,
Pain of toiling without gaining,
Pain, 'mid gladness, of still paining.
But may He guide us all to glory high
Who laughed when Radha glided, hidden, by,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 21
And all among those damsels free and bold
Touched Krishna with a soft mouth, kind and cold ;
And like the others, leaning on his breast,
Unlike the others, left there Love's ujirest ;
And like the others, joining in his song,
Unlike the others, made him silent long.
(If ere ends that Sarga of the Gita Govinda, entitled
SARGA THE SECOND.
THE PENITENCE OF KKISHNA.
THUS lingered Krishna in the deep, green wood,
And gave himself, too prodigal, to those ;
But Eadha, heart-sick at his falling-off,
Seeing her heavenly beauty slighted so,
Withdrew ; and, in a bower of Paradise
Where nectarous blossoms wove a shrine of shade,
Haunted by birds and bees of unknown skies
She sate deep-sorrowful, and sang this strain :
( What follows is to the Music GuRJJARl and the Mode
Ah, my Beloved ! taken with those glances,
Ah, my Beloved ! dancing those rash dances,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 23
Ah, Minstrel ! playing wrongful strains so well ;
Ah, Krishna ! Krishna, with the honeyed lip !
Ah, Wanderer into foolish fellowship !
My Dancer, my Delight ! I love thee still.
O Dancer ! strip thy peacock-crown away,
Bise ! thou whose forehead is the star of day,
With beauty for its silver halo set ;
Come ! thou whose greatness gleams beneath its shroud
Like Indra's rainbow shining through the cloud
Come, for I love thee, my Beloved ! yet.
Must love thee cannot choose but love thee ever,
My best Beloved ! set on this endeavour,
To win thy tender heart and earnest eye
From lips but sadly sweet, from restless bosoms,
To mine, Krishna with the mouth of blossoms !
To mine, thou soul of Krishna ! yet I sigh
Half hopeless, thinking of myself forsaken,
And thee, dear Loiterer, in the wood overtaken
With passion for those bold and wanton ones,
24 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Who knit thine arms as poison-plants gripe trees
With twining cords their flowers the braveries-
That flash in the green gloom, sparkling stars and
My Prince ! my Lotus-faced ! my woe ! my love !
Whose broad brow, with the tilka-spot above,
Shames the bright moon at full with fleck of cloud ;
Thou to mistake so little for so much !
Thou, Krishna, to be palm to palm with such !
Soul made for my joys, pure, perfect, proud !
Ah, my Beloved ! in thy darkness dear ;
Ah, Dancer ! with the jewels in thine ear,
Swinging to music of a loveless love ;
my Beluved ! in thy fall so high
That angels, sages, spirits of the sky
Linger about thee, watching in the grove.
1 will be patient still, and draw thee ever,
My one Beloved, sitting by the river
Under the thick kadambas with that throng :
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 25
Will there not come an end to earthly madness ?
Shall I not, past the sorrow, have the gladness ?
Must not the love-light shine for him ere long ?
Shine, thou Light by Eadha given,
Shine, thou splendid star of heaven !
Be a lamp to Krishna's feet,
Show to all hearts secrets sweet,
Of the wonder and the love
Jayadev hath writ above.
Be the quick Interpreter
Unto wisest ears of her
Who always sings to all, " I wait,
He loveth still who loveth late. 39
For (sang on that high Lady in the shade)
My soul for tenderness, not blame, was made ;
Mine eyes look through his evil to his good ;
My heart coins pleas for him ; my fervent thought
Prevents what he will say when these are naught,
And that which I am shall be understood.
Then spake she to her maiden wistfully
26 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
( What follows is to the Music MiLAVAGAUDA and the
Go to him, win him hither, whisper low
How he may find me if he searches well ;
Say, if he will joys past his hope to know
Await him here ; go now to him, and tell
Where Eadha is, and that henceforth she charms
His spirit to her arms.
Yes, go ! say, if lie will, that he may come
May come, my love, my longing, my desire ;
e May come forgiven, shriven, to me his home,
And make his happy peace ; nay, and aspire
To uplift Kadha's veil, and learn at length
What love is in its strength.
Lead him ; say softly I shall chide his blindness,
And vex him with my angers ; yet add this,
He shall not vainly sue for loving-kindness,
Nor miss to see me close, nor lose the bliss
That lives upon my lip, nor be denied
The rose-throne at my side.
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 27
Say that I Radha in my bower languish
All widowed, till he find the way to me ;
Say that mine eyes are dim, my breast all anguish,
Until with gentle murmured shame I see
His steps come near, his anxious pleading face
Bend for my pardoning grace.
While I what, did he deem light loves so tender,
To tarry for them when the vow was made
To yield him up my bosom's maiden splendour,
And fold him in my fragrance, and unbraid
My shining hair for him, and clasp him close
To the gold heart of his Rose ?
And sing him strains which only spirits know,
And make him captive with the silk- soft chain
Of twinned- wings brooding round him, and bestow
Kisses of Paradise, as pure as rain ;
My gems, my moonlight-pearls, my girdle-gold,
Cymbaling music bold ?
While gained for ever, I shall dare to grow
life to life with him, in the realms divine ;
28 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
And Love's large cup at happy overflow,
Yet ever to be filled his eyes and mine
Will meet in that glad look, when Time's great gate
Closes and shuts out Fate.
Listen to the unsaid things
Of the song that Eadha sings,
For the soul draws near to bliss,
As it comprehendeth this.
I am Jayadev, who write
All this subtle-rich delight
For your teaching. Ponder, then,
What it tells to Gods and men.
Err not, watching Krishna gay,
With those brown girls all at play ;
Understand how Radha charms
Her wandering lover to her arms,
Waiting with divinest love
Till his dream ends in the grove.
For even now (she sang) I see him pause,
Heart-stricken with the waste of heart he makes
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 29
Amid them ; all the bows of their bent brows
Wound him no more : no more for all their sakes
Plays he one note upon his amorous lute,
But lets the strings lie mute.
Pensive, as if his parted lips should say
" My feet with the dances are weary,
The music has dropped from the song,
There is no more delight in the lute-strings,
Sweet Shadows ! what thing has gone wrong ?
The wings of the wind have left fanning
The palms of the glade ; *
They are dead, and the blossoms seem dying
In the place where we played.
" We will play no more, beautiful Shadows !
A fancy came solemn and sad,
More sweet, with unspeakable longings,
Than the best of the pleasures we had :
I am not now the Krishna who kissed you ;
That exquisite dream,
The Vision I saw in my dancing
Has spoiled what you seem.
30 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
" Ah ! delicate phantoms that cheated
With eyes that looked lasting and true,
I awake, I have seen her, my angel
Farewell to the wood and to you !
Oh, whisper of wonderful pity !
Oh, fair face that shone !
Though thou be a vision, Divinest !
This vision is done."
(Here ends that Sarga of the Cfita Govinda entitled
SARGA THE THIRD.
KRISHNA TROUBLED. p
THEREAT, as one who welcomes to her throne
A new-made Queen, and brings before it bound
Her enemies, so Krishna in his heart
Throned Kadha ; and all treasonous follies chained-
He played no more with those first play-fellows :
But, searching through the shadows of the grove
For loveliest Eadha, when he found her not,
Faint with the quest, despairing, lonely, lorn,
And pierced with shame for wasted love and days,
He sate by Jumna, where the canes are thick,
And sang to the wood-echoes words like these :
32 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
(What follows is to the Music GtfRJJAftl and to the Mode
Eadha, Enchantress ! Eadha, queen of all !
Gone lost, because she found me sinning here ;
And I so stricken with my foolish fall,
I could not stay her out of shame and fear ;
She will not hear ;
In her disdain and grief vainly I call.
And if she heard, what would she do ? what say ?
How could Trnake it good that I forgot ?
What profit was it to me, night and day,
To live, love, dance, and dream, having her not ?
Soul without spot !
I wronged thy patience, till it sighed away.
Sadly I know the truth. Ah ! even now
Bemembering that one look beside the river,
Softer the vexed eyes seem, and the proud brow
Than lotus-leaves when the bees make them quiver.
My love for ever !
Too late is Krishna wise too far art thou !
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 33
Yet all day long in my deep heart I woo thee,
And all night long with thee my dreams are sweet ;
Why, then, so vainly must my steps pursue thee ?
Why can I never reach thee, to entreat,
Low at thy feet,
Dear vanished Splendour ! till my tears subdue thee ?
Surpassing One ! I knew thou didst not brook
Half-hearted worship, and a love that wavers ;
Haho ! there is the wisdom I mistook,
Therefore I seek with desperate endeavours ;
That fault dissevers
Me from my heaven, astray condemned forsook !
And yet I seem to feel, to know, thee near me ;
Thy steps make music, measured music, near ;
Eadha ! my Eadha ! will not sorrow clear me ?
Shine once ! speak one word pitiful and dear !
Wilt thou not hear ?
Canst thou because I did forget forsake me ?
Forgive ! the sin is sinned, is past, is over ;
No thought I think shall do thee wrong again ;
34 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Turn thy dark eyes again upon thy lover,
Bright Spirit ! or I perish of this pain.
Loving again !
In dread of doom to love, but not recover.
So did Krishna sing and sigh
By the river-bank; and /,
Jayadev of Kinduvilva t
Resting as the moon of silver
Sits upon the solemn ocean
On full faith, in deep devotion ;
Tell it that ye may perceive
now the heart must fret and grieve ;
How the soul 'doth tire of earth,
Wlien the love from Heav'n hath birth.
For (sang he on) I am no foe of thine,
There is no black snake, Kama ! in my hair ;
Blue lotus-bloom, and not the poisoned brine,
Shadows my neck ; what stains my bosom bare,
Thou God unfair !
Is sandal-dust, not ashes ; nought of mine
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 35
Makes me like Shiva that them, Lord of Love !
Shouldst strain thy string at me and fit thy dart ;
This world is thine let be one breast thereof
Which bleeds already, wounded to the heart
With lasting smart,
Shot from those brows that did my sin reprove.
Thou gavest her those black brows for a bow
Arched like thine own, whose pointed arrows seem
Her glances, and the underlids that go
So firm and fine its string ? Ah, fleeting gleam !
Beautiful dream !
Small need of Kama's help hast thou, I trow,
To smite me to the soul with love ; but set
Those arrows to their silken cord ! enchain
My thoughts in that loose hair ! let thy lips, wet
With dew of heaven as bimba-buds with rain,
Bloom precious pain
Of longing in my heart ; and, keener yet,
The heaving of thy lovely, angry bosom,
Pant to my spirit things unseen, unsaid ;
36 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
But if thy touch, thy tones, if the dark blossom
Of thy dear face, thy jasmine-odours shed
From feet to head,
If these be all with me, canst thou be far be fled ?
So sang he y and I pray that whoso hears
The music of his burning hopes and fears,
That whoso sees this vision by the River
Of Krishna, Hari, (can we name him ever ?)
And marks his ear-ring rubies swinging slow,
As he sits still, unheedful, bending low
To play this tune upon his lute, while all
Listen to catch the sadness musical ;
And Krishna wotteth nought, but, with set face
Turned full toward Radha's, sings on in that place ;
May all such souls prays Jayadev be wise
To learn the wisdom which hereunder lies.
(Here ends that Sarga of the Gita Govinda entitled
( 37 )
SARGA THE FOURTH.
THEN she whom Radha sent came to the canes
The canes beside the river where he lay
With listless limbs and spirit weak from love ;
And she sang this to Krishna wistfully :
( What follows is to the Music KARNATA and the Mode
Art thou sick for Eadha ? she is sad in turn,
Heaven foregoes its blessings, if it holds not thee ;
All the cooling fragrance of sandal she doth spurn,
Moonlight makes her mournful with radiance silvery;
38 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Even the southern breeze blown fresh from pearly seas,
Seems to her but tainted by a dolorous brine ;
And for thy sake discontented, with a great love over-
Her soul comes here beside thee, and sitteth down
Her soul conies here beside thee, and tenderly and true
It weaves a subtle mail of proof to ward off sin and
A breastplate soft as lotus-leaf, with holy tears for dew,
To guard thee from the things that hurt ; and then
'tis gone again
To strew a blissful place with the richest buds that grace
Kama's sweet world, a meeting-spot with rose and
For the hour when, well-contented, with a love no
Thou shalt find the way to Eadha, and finish sorrows
But now her lovely face is shadowed by her fears ;
Her glorious eyes are veiled and dim like moonlight
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 39
By breaking rain-clouds, Krishna ! yet she paints you
in her tears
With tender thoughts not Krishna, but brow and
breast and lips
And form and mien a King, a great and god-like thing ;
And then with bended head she asks grace from the
To keep thee discontented with the phantoms thou for-
Till she may win her glory, and thou be raised to thine.
Softly now she sayeth,
" Krishna, Krishna, come ! "
Lovingly she prayeth,
" Fair moon, light him home."
Yet if Hari helps not,
Moonlight cannot aid ;
Ah ! the woeful Eadha !
Ah ! the forest shade !
Ah ! if Hari guide not,
' Moonlight is as gloom ;
Ah ! if moonlight help not,
How shall Krishna come ?
40 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Sad for Krishna grieving
In the darkened grove ;
Sad for Eadha weaving
Dreams of fruitless love !
Strike soft strings to this soft measure,
If thine ear would catch its treasure ;
Slowly dance to this deep song,
Let its meaning float along
With grave paces, since it tells
Of a love that sweetly dwells
^ In a tender distant glory,
Past all faults of mortal story.
(Wliat follows is to the Music DESHAGA and the Mode
Krishna, till thou come unto her, faint she lies with
love and fear ;
Even the jewels of her necklet seem a load too great to
Krishna, till thou come unto her, all the sandal and the
Vex her with their pure perfection though they* grow in
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 41
Krishna, till thou come unto her, fair albeit those
bowers may be,
Passion burns her, and love's fire fevers her for lack of
Krishna, till thou come unto her, those divine lids, dark
Droop like lotus-leaves in rain-storms, dashed and heavy
in their splendour.
Krishna, till thou come unto her, that rose-couch which
she hath spread
Saddens with its empty place, its double pillow for one
Krishna, till thou come unto her, from her palms she
will not lift
The dark face hidden deep within them like the moon
in cloudy rift.
Krishna, till thou come unto her, angel though she be,
Sighs and suffers, waits and watches joyless 'mid those
42 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Krishna, till thou come unto her, with the comfort of
Deeper than thy loss, Krishna! must be loss of
Krishna, while thou didst forget her her, thy life, thy
Wonderful her waiting was, her pity sweet, her patience
Krishna, come ! 'tis grief untold to grieve her shame
to let her sigh ;
Come, for she is sick with love, and thou her only
So she sang, and Jayadeva
Prays for all, and prays for ever,
That Great Hari may bestow
Utmost bliss of loving so
On us all ; that one who wore
The herdsman's form, and heretofore,
To save the shepherd's threatened flock,
Up from the earth reared the huge rock
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 43
Bestow it with a gracious hand,
Albeit, amid the woodland land,
Clinging close in fond caresses
Krishna gave them ardent kisses,
Taking on his lips divine
Earthly stamp and woodland sign.
(Here ends that Sarga of the Gita Govinda entitled
( 44 )
SARGA THE FIFTH.
THE LONGINGS OF KRISHNA.
" SAY I am here ! oh, if she pardons me,
Say where I am, and win her softly hither."
So Krishna to the maid ; and willingly
She came again to Radha, and she sang :
( What follows is to the Music DESHIVARAD! and the
Low whispers the wind from Malaya
Overladen with love ;
On the hills all the grass is burned yellow ;
And the trees in the grove
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 45
Droop with tendrils that mock by their clinging
The thoughts of the parted ;
And there lies, sore-sighing for thee,
Thy love, altered-hearted.
To him the moon's icy-chill silver
Is a sun at midday ;
The fever he burns with is deeper
Than starlight can stay :
Like one who falls stricken by arrows,
With the colour departed
From all but his red wounds, so lies
Thy love, bleeding-hearted.
To the music the banded bees make him
He closeth his ear ;
In the blossoms their small horns are blowing
The honey-song clear ;
But as if every sting to his bosom
Its smart had imparted,
Low lies by the edge of the river,
Thy love, aching-hearted.
46 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
By the edge of the river, far wandered
From his once beloved bowers,
And the haunts of his beautiful playmates,
And the beds strewn with flowers ;
Now thy name is his playmate that only !
And the hard rocks upstarted
From the sand make the couch where he lies,
Thy Krishna, sad-hearted.
Oh may Hari fill each soul,
As these gentle verses roll
Telling of the anguish borne
By kindred ones asunder torn !
Oh may Hari unto each
All the lore of loving teach,
All the pain and all the bliss;
Jayadeva prayeth this f
Yea, Lady ! in the self-same spot he waits
Where with thy kiss thou taught'st him utmost love,
And drew him, as none else draws, with thy look ;
And all day long, and all night long, his cry
Is " Eadha, Kadha," like a spell said o'er ;
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 47
And in his heart there lives no wish nor hope
Save only this, to slake his spirit's thirst
Tor Radha's love on RadWs lips ; and find
Peace in the immortal beauty of thy brow.
( WJiat follows is to the Music GuRJ JAR! and the Mode
Mistress, sweet and bright and holy !
Meet him in that place ;
Change his cheerless melancholy
Into joy and grace ;
If thou hast forgiven, vex not ;
If thou lovest, go ;
Watching ever by the river,"
Krishna listens low :
Listens low, and on his reed there
Softly sounds thy name,
Making even mute things plead there
For his hope : 'tis shame
That, while winds are welcome to him,
If from thee they blow,
Mournful ever by the river
Krishna waits thee so !
48 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
When a bird's wing stirs the roses,
When a leaf falls dead,
Twenty times he recomposes
The flower-seat he has spread :
Twenty times, with anxious glances
Seeking thee in vain,
Sighing ever by the river,
Krishna droops again.
Loosen from thy foot the bangle,
Lest its golden bell,
With a tiny, tattling jangle,
Any false tale tell :
If thou fearest that the moonlight
Will thy glad face know,
Draw those dark braids lower, Lady !
But to Krishna go.
Swift and still as lightning's splendour
Let thy beauty come,
Sudden, gracious, dazzling, tender,
To his arms its home :
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 49
Swift as Indra's yellow lightning,
Shining through the night,
Glide to Krishna's lonely bosom,
Take him love and light.
Grant, at last, love's utmost measure,
Giving, give the whole ;
Keep back nothing of the treasure
Of thy priceless soul :
Hold with both hands out unto him
Thy chalice, let him drain
The nectar of its dearest draught,
Till not a wish remain.
Only go the stars are setting,
And thy Krishna grieves ;
Doubt and anger quite forgetting,
Hasten through the leaves :
Wherefore didst thou lead him heav'nward
But for this thing's sake ?
Comfort him with pity, Kadha !
Or his heart must break.
50 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
But while Jayadeva writes
This rare tale of deep delights
Jayadev, whose heart is given
Unto Hari y Lord in Heaven
See that ye too > as ye repd,
With a glad and humble heed,
Bend your "brows before His face,
That ye may have bliss and grace.
And then the Maid, compassionate, sang on
Lady, most sweet !
For thy coming feet
He listens in the wood, with love sore-tried ;
Like one a-dying,
He sends his thoughts afoot to meet his bride.
Ah, silent one !
Sunk is the sun,
The darkness falls as deep as Krishna's sorrow ;
The chakor's strain
Is not more vain
Than mine, and soon gray dawn will bring white
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 51
And thine own bliss
Delays by this ;
The utmost of thy heaven comes only'so
When, with hearts beating
And passionate greeting,
Parting is over, and the parted grow
One one for ever !
And the old endeavour
To be so blended is assuaged at last ;
And the glad tears raining
Have nought remaining
Of doubt or plaining ; and the dread has passed
Out of each face,
In the close embrace,
That by-and-by embracing will be over;
The ache that causes
Those mournful pauses
In bowers of earth between lover and lover :
To be no more felt,
To fade, to melt
In the strong certainty of joys immortal ;
52 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
In the glad meeting,
And quick sweet greeting
Of lips that close beyond Time's shadowy portal.
And to thee is given,
Angel of Heaven !
This glory and this joy with Krishna. Go !
Let him attain,
For his long pain,
The prize it promised, see thee coming slow,
A vision first, but then
By glade and glen
A lovely, loving soul, true to its home ;
His Queen his Crown his All,
Hast'ning at last to fall
Upon his breast, and live there. Eadha, come !
Come ! and come thou, Lord of all,
Unto whom the Three Worlds call ;
Thou, that didst in angry might,
Kansa, like a comet, smite ;
Thou, that in thy passion tender,
As incarnate spell and splendour,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 53
Hung on Radha's glorious face
In the garb of Krishna? s grace
As above the bloom the bee t
When the honeyed revelry
Is too subtle-sweet an one
Not to hang and dally on ;
Thou that art the Three Worlds' glory,
Of life the light, of every story
The meaning and the mark, of love
The root and flower, d tJie sky above
The blue, of bliss the heart, of those,
The lovers, that which did impose
The gentle law, that each should be
The other's Heart n and harmony.
(Here ends that Sarga of the Gita Govinda entitled
SARGA THE SIXTH.
DHEISHTAVAIK IfN T 0.
KRISHNA MADE BOLDER
BUT seeing that, for all her loving will,
The flower-soft feet of Kadha had not power
To leave their place and go, she sped again
That maiden and to Krishna's eager ears
Told how it fared with his sweet mistress there.
( What follows is to the Music GoNDAKraf and the Mode
Krishna ! 'tis thou must come, (she sang)
Ever she waits thee in heavenly bower ;
The lotus seeks not the wandering bee,
The bee must find the flower.
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 55
All the wood over her deep eyes roam,
Marvelling sore where tarries the bee,
Who leaves such lips of nectar unsought
As those that blossom for thee.
Her steps would fail if she tried to come,
Would falter and fail, with yearning weak ;
At the first of the road they would falter and pause,
And the way is strange to seek.
Find her where she is sitting, then,
With lotus-blossom on ankle and arm
Wearing thine emblems, and musing of nought
But the meeting to be glad, warm.
To be" but wherefore tarrieth he ? "
" What can stay or delay him ? go !
See if the soul of Krishna comes/'
Ten times she sayeth to me so ;
Ten times lost in a languorous swoon,
" Now he cometh he cometh," she cries ;
And a love-look lightens her eyes in the gloom,
And the darkness is sweet with her sighs.
56 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Till, watching in vain, she glideth again
Under the shade of the whispering leaves ;
With a heart too full of its love at last
To heed how her bosom heaves.
Sfutll not these fair verses swell
The number of the wise who dwell
In the realm of Kama's Hiss ?
Jayadeva prayeth this,
Jayadev, the bard of Love,
Servant of the Gods above.
Tor all so strong in Heaven itself
Is Love, that Eadha sits drooping there,
Her beautiful bosoms panting with thought,
And the braids drawn back from her ear.
And angel albeit her rich lips breathe
Sighs, if sighs were ever so sweet ;
And if spirits can tremble she trembles now
From forehead to jewelled feet.
And her voice of music sinks to a sob,
And her eyes, like eyes of a mated roe,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 57
Are tender with looks of yielded love,
With dreams dreamed long ago ;
Long long ago, but soon to grow truth,
To end, and be waking and certain and true ;
Of which dear surety murmur her lips,
As the lips of sleepers do :
And, dreaming, she loosens her girdle-pearls,
And opens her arms to the empty air,
Then starts, if a leaf of the champak falls,
Sighing, " leaf ! is he there ? "
Why dost thou linger in this dull spot,
Haunted by serpents and evil for thee ?
Why not hasten to Nanda's House ?
It is plain, if thine eyes could see.
May these words of high endeavour
Full of grace and gentle favour
Find out those whose hearts can feel
What the message did reveal,
58 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Words that Radha's messenger
Unto Krishna took from her,
Slowly guiding him to come
Through the forest to his twine,
Guiding him to find the road
Wliich led though long to Loves abode.
(Here ends that Sarga of the G-ita Govinda entitled
( 59 )
SARGA THE SEVENTH.
KRISHNA SUPPOSED FALSE.
MEANTIME the moon, the rolling moon, clomb high,
And over all Vrindavana it shone ;
The moon which on the front of gentle night
Gleams like the chundun-mark on beauty's brow ;
The conscious moon which hath its silver face
Marred with the shame of lighting earthly loves :
And while the round white lamp of earth rose higher,
And still he tarried, Radha, petulant,
Sang soft impatience and half-earnest fears :
60 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
( What follows is to the Music MAlAVA and the Mode
Tis time ! he comes not ! will he come ?
Can he leave me thus to pine ?
Yami M ham sharanam I
Ah ! what refuge then is mine ?
For his sake I sought the wood,
Threaded dark and devious ways ;
Yami M kam sharanam !
Can it be Krishna betrays ?
Let me die then, and forget
Anguish, patience, hope, and fear ;
Yami M kam sharanam !
Ah, why have I held him dear ?
Ah, this soft night torments me,
Thinking that his faithless arms
Yami M kam sharanam !
Clasp some shadow of my charms.
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 61
Fatal shadow foolish mock !
When the great love shone confessed ;
Yami h$ Team sharanam !
Krishna's lotus loads my breast ;
'Tis too heavy, lacking him ;
Like a broken flower I am
Necklets, jewels, what are ye ?
Yami h& kam sharanam !
Yami M ham sharanam !
The sky is still, the forest sleeps ;
Krishna forgets he loves no more ;
He fails in faith, and Radha weeps.
JBut the poet Jayadev
He who is great Hari's slave,
He who finds asylum sweet
Only at great Hari's feet ;
He who for your comfort sings
All this to the Vinas strings
Prays that Sadha's tender moan
In your hearts be thought upon,
62 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
And that all her holy grace
Live there like the loved one's face.
Yet, if I wrong him ! (sang she) can he fail ?
Could any in the wood win back his kisses ?
Could any softest lips of earth prevail
To hold him from my arms ? any love-blisses
Blind him once more to mine ? Soul, my prize !
Art thou not merely hindered at this hour ?
Sore-wearied, wandering, lost ? how otherwise
Shouldst thou not hasten to the bridal-bower ?
But seeing far away that Maiden come
Alone, with eyes cast down and lingering steps,
Again a little while she feared to hear
Of Krishna false ; and her quick thoughts took shape
In a fine jealousy, with words like these
Something then of earth has held him
From his home above,
Some one of those slight deceivers
Ah, my foolish love !
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 63
Some new face, some winsome playmate,
With her hair untied,
And the blossoms tangled in it,
Woos him to her side.
On the dark orbs of her bosom
Sink and rise the warm, white pearl-strings,
Oh, my love deceived !
Fair ? yes, yes ! the rippled shadow
Of that midnight hair
Shows above her brow as clouds do
O'er the moon most fair :
And she knows, with wilful paces,
How to make her zone
Gleam and please him ; and her ear-rings
Tinkle love ; and grown
Coy as he grows fond, she meets him
With a modest show ;
Shaming truth with truthful seeming,
While her laugh light, low
64 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
And her subtle mouth that murmurs,
And her silken cheek,
And her eyes, say she dissembles
Plain as speech could speak.
Till at length, a fatal victress,
Of her triumph vain,
On his neck she lies and smiles there :
Ah, my Joy ! my Pain !
But may Radha's fond annoy,
And may Krishna's dawning joy,
Warm and waken love more fit
Jayadeva prayetli it
And the griefs and sins assuage
Of this blind and evil age.
O Moon ! (she sang) that art so pure and pale,
Is Krishna wan like thee with lonely waiting ?
O lamp of love ! art thou the lover's friend,
And wilt not bring him, my long pain abating ?
O fruitless moon ! thou dost increase my pain
O faithless Krishna ! I have striven in vain
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 65
And then, lost in her fancies sad, she moaned
( What follows is to the Music GUR JJARl and the Mode
In vain, in vain !
Earth will of earth ! I mourn more than I blame ;
If he had known, he would not sit and paint
The tilka on her smooth black brow, nor claim
Quick kisses from her yielded lips false, faint
False, fragrant, fatal ! Krishna's quest is o'er
By Jumna's shore !
Vain it was vain !
The temptress was too near, the heav'n too far ;
I can but weep because he sits and ties
Garlands of fire-flowers for her loosened hair,
And in its silken shadow veils his eyes
And buries his fond face. Yet I forgave
By Jumna's wave !
Vainly ! all vain !
Make then the most of that whereto thou'rt given,
Feign her thy Paradise thy Love of loves ;
66 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Say that her eyes are stars, her face the heaven,
Her bosoms the two worlds, with sandal-groves
Full-scented, and the kiss-marks ah, thy dream
By Jumna's stream !
It shall be vain !
And vain to string the emeralds on her arm,
And hang the milky pearls upon her neck,
Saying they are not jewels, but a swarm
Of crowded, glossy bees, come there to suck
The rosebuds of her breast, the sweetest flowers
Of Jumna's bowers.
That shall be vain !
Nor wilt thou so believe thine own blind wooing,
Nor slake thy heart's thirst even with the cup
Which at the last she brims for thee, undoing
Her girdle of carved gold, and yielding up,
Love's uttermost : brief the poor gain and pride
By Jumna's tide
Because still vain
Is love that feeds on shadow ; vain, as thou dost,
To look so deep into the phantom eyes
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 67
For that which lives not there ; and vain, as thou must,
To marvel why the painted pleasure flies,
When the fair, false wings seemed folded for ever
By Jumna's river.
And vain ! yes, vain !
For me too is it, having so much striven,
To see this slight snare take thee, and thy soul
Which should have climbed to mine, and shared my
Spent on a lower loveliness, whose whole
Passion of claim were but a parody
Of that kept here for thee.
Ahaha ! vain !
For on some isle of Jumna's silver stream
He gives all that they ask to those hard eyes,
While mine which are his angel's, mine which gleam
With light that might have led him to the skies
That almost led him are eclipsed with tears
Wailing my fruitless prayers.
But thou, good Friend,
Hang not thy head for shame, nor come so slowly,
As one whose message is too ill to tell ;
68 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
If thou must say Krishna is forfeit wholly
Wholly forsworn and lost let the grief dwell
Where the sin doth, except in this sad heart,
Which cannot shun its part.
great Hari ! purge from wrong
The soul of him who writes this song ;
Purge the souls of those that read
From every fault of thought and deed ;
With thy Messed light assuage
The darkness of this evil age !
Jayadev the lard of love,
Servant of the Gods above,
Prays it for himself and you
Gentle hearts who listen ! too.
Then in this other strain she wailed his loss
(What follows is to the Music DESHAVARAD! and the
She, not Radha, wins the crown
Whose false lips were dearest ;
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 69
What was distant gain to him
When sweet loss stood nearest ?
Love her, therefore, lulled to loss
On her fatal bosom ;
Love her with such love as she
Can give back in the blossom.
Love her, O thou rash lost soul !
With thy thousand graces ;
Coin rare thoughts into fair words
For her face of faces ;
Praise it, fling away for it
Life's purpose in a sigh,
All for those lips like flower-leaves,
And lotus-dark deep eye.
Nay, and thou shalt be happy too
Till the fond dream is over ;
And she shall taste delight to hear
The wooing of her lover ;
The breeze that brings the sandal up
From distant green Malay,
Shall seem all fragrance in the night,
All coolness in the day.
70 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
The crescent moon shall seem to swim
Only that she may see
The glad eyes of my Krishna gleam,
And her soft glances he :
It shall be as a silver lamp
Set in the sky to show
The rose-leaf palms that cling and clasp,
And the breast that beats below.
The thought of parting shall not lie
Cold on their throbbing lives,
The dread of ending shall not chill
The glow beginning gives ;
She in her beauty dark shall look
As long as clouds can be
As gracious as the rain-time cloud
Kissing the shining sea.
And he, amid his playmates old,
At least a little while,
Shall not breathe forth again the sigh
That spoils the song and smile ;
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 71
Shall be left wholly to his choice,
Free for his pleasant sin,
With the golden-girdled damsels
Of the bowers I found him in.
For me, his Angel, only
The sorrow and the smart,
The pale grief sitting on the brow,
The dead hope in the heart ;
For me the loss of losing,
For me the ache and dearth ;
My king crowned with the wood-flowers !
My fairest upon earth !
Hari, Lord and King of love !
From thy throne of light above
Stoop to help m, deign to take
Our spirits to theefor the sake
Of this song, which speaks the fears
Of all who weep with Radhas tears.
But love is strong to pardon, slow to part,
And still the Lady, in her fancies, sang
72 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Wind of the Indian stream !
A little oh ! a little breathe once more
The fragrance like his mouth's ! blow from thy shore
One last word as he fades into a dream ;
Bodiless Lord of love !
Show him once more to me a minute's space,
My Krishna, with the love-look in his face,
And then I come to my own place above ;
I will depart and give
All back to Fate and her : I will submit
To thy stern will, and bow myself to it,
Enduring still, though desolate, to live :
If it indeed be life,
Even so resigning, to sit patience-mad,
To feel the zephyrs burn, the sunlight sad,
The peace of holy heaven, a restless strife.
Haho ! what words are these ?
How can I live and lose him ? how not go
Whither love draws me for a soul loved so ?
How yet endure such sorrow ? or how cease ?
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 73
Wind of the Indian wave !
If that thou canst, blow poison here, not nard ;
God of the five shafts ! shoot thy sharpest hard,
And kill me, Radha, Eadha who forgave !
Or, bitter Paver,
Yamun ! be Yama's sister ! be Death's kin !
Swell thy wave up to me and gulf me in,
Cooling this cruel, burning pain for ever.
Ah ! if only visions stir
Grief so passionate in her,
Wliat divine grief will not take,
Spirits in heaven for the sake
Of those who miss love ? Oh, be wise !
Mark this story of the skies ;
Meditate Gfovinda ever,
Sitting l>y the sacred river,
Tfie mystic stream, which o'er his feet
Glides slow, with murmurs low and sweet,
Till none can tell whether those be
JBlue lotus-blooms, seen veiledly
Under the wave, or 'mirrored gems
Reflected from the diadems
74 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Bound on the "brows of mighty Gods,
WTio lean from out their pure abodes,
And leave their bright felicities
To guide great Krishna to his sides.
(Here ends that Sarga of the Gita Govinda entitled
( 75 )
SARGA THE EIGHTH.
THE REBUKING OF KRISHNA.
FOR when the weary night had worn away
In these vain fears, and the clear morning broke,
Lo, Krishna ! lo, tjie longed-for of her soul
Came too ! in the glad light he came, and bent
His knee, and clasped his hands ; on his dumb lips
Fear, wonder, joy, passion, and reverence
Strove for the trembling words, and Eadha knew
Joy won for him and her ; yet none the less
A little time she chided him, and sang :
76 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
(What follows is to the Music BHAIRAV! and the Mode
Krishna ! then thou hast found me ! and thine eyes
Heavy and sad and stained, as if with weeping !
Ah ! is it not that those, which were thy prize,
So radiant seemed that all night thou wert keeping
Vigils of tender wooing ? have thy Love !
Here is no place for vows broken in making ;
Thou Lotus-eyed ! thou soul for whom I strove !
Go ! ere I listen, my just mind forsaking.
Krishna ! my Krishna with the woodland-wreath !
Return, or I shall soften as I blame ;
The while thy very lips are dark to the teeth
With dye that from her lids and lashes came,
Left on the mouth I touched. Fair traitor ! go !
Say not they darkened, lacking food and sleep
Long waiting for my face ; I turn it so
Go ! ere I half believe thee, pleading deep ;
But wilt thou plead, when, like a love-verse printed
On the smooth polish of an emerald,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 77
I see the marks she stamped, the kisses dinted
Large-lettered, by her lips ? thy speech withheld
Speaks all too plainly ; go, abide thy choice !
If thou dost stay, I shall more greatly grieve thee ;
Not records of her victory ? peace, dear voice !
Hence with that godlike brow, lest I believe thee.
For dar'st thou feign the saffron on thy bosom
Was not implanted in disloyal embrace ?
Or that this many-coloured love-tree blossojjf
Shone not, but yesternight, above her fadeir -
Comest thou here, so late, to be forgiven,
thou, in whose eyes Truth was made td^ive
thou, so worthy else of grace and heaven ?
thou, so nearly won ? Ere I forgive,
Go, Krishna ! go ! lest I should think, unwise,
Thy heart not false, as thy long lingering seems,
Lest, seeing myself so imaged in thine eyes,
I shame the name of Pity turn to dreams
The sacred sound of vows ; make Virtue grudge
Her praise to Mercy, calling thy sin slight ;
78 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Go therefore, dear offender ! go ! thy Judge
Had best not see thee to give sentence right.*
But may he grant us peace at last and bliss
Who heard, and smiled to hear, delays like this,
Delays that dallied ivith a dream come true,
Fond wilful angers; for the maid laughed too
To see, as Eadha ended, her hand take
His dark robe for her veil, and Krishna make
The word she spoke for parting kindliest sign
He should not go, but stay. grace divine,
Be ours too ! Jayadev, the Poet of love,
Prays it from Hari, lordliest above.
(Here ends that Sarga of the Git a G-ovinda entitled
* The text here is not closely followed.
( 79 )
SARGA THE NINTH.
THE END OF KRISHNA'S TEIAL.
YET not quite did the doubts of Eadha die,
Nor her sweet brows unbend ; but she, the Maid
Knowing her heart so tender, her soft arms
Aching to take him in, her rich mouth sad
For the comfort of his kiss, and these fears false
Spake yet a little in fair words like these :
( What follows is to the Music GURJ JARf and the Mode
The lesson that thy faithful love has taught him
He has heard ;
The wind of spring, obeying thee, hath brought him
At thy word ;
8o THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
What joy in all the three worlds was so precious
To thy mind ?
Md kooroo mdnini mdnamayd*
Ah, be kind !
No longer from his earnest eyes conceal
Thy delights ;
Lift thy face, and let the jealous veil reveal
All his rights;
The glory of thy beauty was but given
For content ;
Md kooroo mdnini mdnamayd,
Oh, relent !
Remember, being distant, how he bore thee
In his heart ;
Look on him sadly turning from before thee
To depart ;
Is he not the soul thou lovedst, sitting lonely
In the wood ?
Md kooroo mdnini mdnamayt,
'Tis not good !
* My proud one ! do not indulge in scorn.
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 81
He who grants thee high delight in bridal-bower
Pardons long ;
What the gods do love may do at such an hour
Without wrong ;
Why weepest thou ? why keepest thou in anger
Thy lashes down ?
Md kooroo mdnini mdnamayd,
Do not frown !
Lift thine eyes now, and look on him, bestowing,
Without speech ;
Let him pluck at last the flower so sweetly growing
In his reach ;
The fruit of lips, of loving tones, of glances
That forgive ;
Md kooroo mdnini mdnamay&,
Let him live !
Let him speak with thee, and pray to thee, and
All his truth ;
Let his silent loving lamentation move thee
Asking ruth ;
82 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
How knowest thou ? Ah, listen, dearest Lady,
He is there ;
Md kooroo mdnini mdnamaye,
Thou must hear !
rare voice, which is a spell
Unto all on earth who dwell !
rich voice of rapturous love,
Making melody above !
Krishna's, Hari's one in two,
Sound these mortal verses through !
Sound like tJiat soft flute which made
Such a magic in the shade
Calling deer-eyed maidens nigh,
Waking wish and stirring sigh,
Thrilling Hood and melting breasts,
Whispering love's divine unrests,
Winning blessings to descend,
Bringing earthly ills to end ;
Be thou heard in this song now
Thou, the great Enchantment, thou !
(Here ends that Sarga of the Gita Govinda entitled
KALAH ANTARITAVAKNAN E MUGDHAMUKUNDO.)
SARGA THE TENTH.
MAN IN I V AEN ANE
KRISHNA IN PARADISE.
BUT she, abasing still her glorious eyes,
And still not yielding all her face to him,
Kelented ; till with softer upturned look
She smiled, while the Maid pleaded ; so thereat
Came Krishna nearer, and his eager lips
Mixed sighs with words in this fond song lie sang:
(What follows is to the Music DESHiYAVAKADl and the
angel of my hope ! my heart's home !
My fear is lost in love, my love in fear ;
84 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
This bids me trust my burning wish, and come,
That checks me with its memories, drawing near :
Lift up thy look, and let the thing it saith
End fear with grace, or darken love to death.
Or only speak once more, for though thou slay me,
Thy heavenly mouth must move, and I shall hear
Dulcet delights of perfect music sway me
Again again that voice so blest and dear ;
Sweet Judge ! the prisoner prayeth for his doom
That he may hear his fate divinely come.
Speak once more ! then thou canst not choose but show
Thy mouth's unparalleled and honeyed wonder
Where, like pearls hid in red-lipped shells, the row
Of pearly teeth thy rose-red lips lie under ;
Ah me ! I am that bird that woos the moon,
And pipes poor fool ! to make it glitter soon.
Yet hear me on because I cannot stay
The passion of my soul, because my gladness
Will pour forth from my heart ; since that far day
When through the mist of all my sin and sadness
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 85
Thou didst vouchsafe Surpassing One ! to break,
All else I slighted for thy noblest sake.
Thou, thou hast been my blood, my breath, my being ;
The pearl to plunge for in the sea of life ;
The sight to strain for, past the bounds of seeing ;
The victory to win through longest strife ;
My Queen ! my crownfed Mistress ! my sphered bride !
Take this for truth, that what I say beside
Of bold love grown full-orbed at sight of thee
May be forgiven with a quick remission ;
For, thou divine fulfilment of all hope !
Thou all-undreamed completion of the vision !
I gaze upon thy beauty, and my fear
Tasses as clouds do, when the moon shines clear.
So if thou'rt angry still, this shall avail,
Look straight at me, and let thy bright glance wound
Fetter me ! gyve me ! lock me in the gaol
Of thy delicious arms ; make fast around me
The silk-soft manacles of wrists and hands,
Then kill me ! I shall never break those bands.
86 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
The starlight jewels flashing on thy breast
Have not my right to hear thy beating heart ;
The happy jasmine-buds that clasp thy waist
Are soft usurpers of my place and part ;
If that fair girdle only there must shine,
Give me the girdle's life the girdle mine !
Thy brow like smooth Bandhuka-leaves ; thy cheek
Which the dark-tinted Madhuk's velvet shows ;
Thy long-lashed Lotus eyes, lustrous and meek ;
Thy nose a Tila-bud ; thy teeth like rows
Of Kunda-petals ! he who pierceth hearts
Points with thy lovelinesses all five darts.
But Kadiant, Perfect, Sweet, Supreme, forgive !
My heart is wise my tongue is foolish still :
I know where I am come I know I live
I know that thou art Eadha that this will
Last and be heaven : that I have leave to rise
Up from thy feet, and look into thine eyes !
And, nearer coming, I ask for grace
Now that the blest eyes turn to mine ;
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 87
Faithful I stand in this sacred place
Since first I saw them shine :
Dearest glory that stills my voice,
Beauty unseen, unknown, unthought !
Splendour of love, in whose sweet light
Darkness is past and nought ;
Ah, beyond words that sound on earth,
Golden bloom of the garden of heaven !
Radha, enchantress ! Radha, the queen !
Be this trespass forgiven
In that I dare, with courage too much
And a heart afraid, so bold it is grown
To hold thy hand with a bridegroom's touch,
And take thee for mine, mine own.*
So they met and so they ended
Pain and parting, being blended
Life with life made one for ever
In high love ; and Jayadeva
Hasteneth on to close the story
Of their bridal grace and glory.
(Here ends that Sarga of the Cfita Govinda entitled
* Much here also is necessarily paraphrased.
SARGA THE ELEVENTH.
E A D H I K A M I L A N E
THE UNION OF RADHA AKD KRISHNA.
THUS followed soft and lasting peace, and griefs
Died while she listened to his tender tongue,
Her eyes of antelope alight with love ;
And while he led the way to the bride-bower
The maidens of her train adorned her fair
With golden marriage-cloths, and sang this song :
( What follows is to the Music VASANTA and the Mode
Follow, happy Radha ! follow,
In the quiet falling twilight
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 89
The steps of him who followed thee
So steadfastly and far ;
Let us bring thee where the banjulas
Have spread a roof of crimson,
Lit up by many a marriage-lamp
Of planet, sun, and star :
For the hours of doubt are over,
And thy glad and faithful lover
Hath found the road by tears and prayers
To thy divinest side ;
And thou wilt not now deny him
One delight of all thy beauty,
But yield up open-hearted
His pearl, his prize, his bride.
Oh, follow ! while we fill the air
With songs and softest music ;
Lauding thy wedded loveliness,
Dear Mistress past compare !
For there is not any splendour
Of Apsarases immortal
No glory of their beauty rich
But Radha has a share ;
90 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Oh, follow ! while we sing the song
That fills the worlds with longing,
The music of the Lord of love
Who melts all hearts with bliss ;
For now is born the gladness
That springs from mortal sadness,
And all soft thoughts and things and hopes
Were presages of this.
Then, follow, happiest Lady !
Follow him thou lovest wholly ;
The hour is come to follow now
The soul thy spells have led ;
His are thy breasts like jasper-cups,
And his thine eyes like planets ;
Thy fragrant hair, thy stately neck,
Thy queenly sumptuous head ;
Thy soft small feet, thy perfect lips,
Thy teeth like jasmine petals,
Thy gleaming rounded shoulders,
And long caressing arms,
Being thine to give, are his ; and his
The twin strings of thy girdle,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 91
And his the priceless treasure
Of thine utter-sweetest charms.
So follow ! while the flowers break forth
In white and amber clusters,
At the breath of thy pure presence,
And the radiance on thy brow ;
Oh, follow where the Asokas wave
Their sprays of gold and purple,
As if to beckon thee the way
That Krishna passed but now ;
He is gone a little forward !
Though thy steps are faint for pleasure,
Let him hear the tattling ripple
Of the bangles round thy feet ;
Moving slowly o'er the blossoms
On the path which he has shown thee,
That when he turns to listen
It may make his fond heart beat.
And loose thy jewelled girdle
A little, that its rubies
May tinkle softest music too,
And whisper thou art near ;
92 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
Though now, if in the forest
Thou should'st bend one blade of Kusha
With silken touch of passing foot,
His heart would know and hear ;
Would hear the wood-buds saying,
" It is Eadha's foot that passes ; r
Would hear the wind sigh love-sick,
" It is Eadha's fragrance, this ; "
Would hear thine own heart beating
Within thy panting bosom,
And know thee coming, coming,
His ever, ever his !
" Mine ! " hark ! we are near enough for hearing
" Soon she will come she will smile she will say
Honey-sweet words of heavenly endearing ;
soul ! listen ; my Bride is on her way!"
Hear'st him not, my liadha ?
Lo, night bendeth o'er thee
Darker than dark Tamala-leaves
To list thy inarriage-song ;
Dark as the touchstone that tries gold,
And see now on before thee-^
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 93
Those lines of tender light that creep
The clouded sky along :
O night 1 that trieth gold of love,
This love is proven perfect !
O lines that streak the touchstone sky,
Flash forth true shining gold !
O rose-leaf feet, go boldly !
O night ! that lovest loverb
Thy softest robe of silence
About these bridals fold !
See'st thou not, my Kadha?
Lo, the night, thy bridesmaid,
Comes ! her eyes thick-painted
With soorma of the gloom
The night that binds the planet-worlds
For jewels on her forehead,
And for emblem and for garland
Loves the blue-black lotus-bloom ;
The night that scents her breath so sweet
With cool and musky odours,
That joys to spread her veil of shade
Over the limbs of love ;
94 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
And when, with loving weary,
Yet dreaming love, they slumber,
Sets the far stars for silver lamps
To light them from above.
So came she where he stood, awaiting her
At the bower's entry, like a god to see,
With marriage-gladness and the grace of heaven.
The great pearl set upon his glorious head
Shone like a moon among the leaves, and shone
Like stars the gems that kept her gold gown close :
But still a little while she paused abashed
At her delight, of her deep joy afraid
And they that tended her sang once more this :
( What follows is to the Music VARADI and the Mode
Enter, thrice-happy ! enter, thrice-desired !
And let the gates of Hari shut thee in
With the soul destined to thee from of old.
Tremble not ! lay thy lovely shame aside ;
Lay it aside with thine unfastened zone,
And love him with the love that knows not fear,
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 95
Because it fears not change ; enter thou in,
Flower of all sweet and stainless womanhood !
For ever to grow bright, for ever new ;
Enter beneath the flowers, O flower- fair !
Beneath these tendrils, Loveliest ! that entwine
And clasp, and wreathe and cling, with kissing stems ;
Enter, with tender-blowing airs of heaven,
Soft as love's breath and gentle as the tones
Of lover's whispers, when the lips come close :
Enter the house of Love, O loveliest !
Enter the marriage-bower, most beautiful !
And take and give the joy that Hari grants.
Thy heart has entered, let thy feet go too !
Lo, Krishna ! lo, the one that thirsts for thee !
Give him the drink of amrit from thy lips.
Then she, no more delaying, entered straight ;
Her step a little faltered, but her face
Shone with unutterable quick love ; and while
96 THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
The music of her bangles passed the porch
Shame, which had lingered in her downcast eyes,
Departed shamed* . . . and like the mighty deep,
Which sees the moon and rises, all his life
Uprose to drink her beams.
(Here ends that Sarga of the Gitct Govinda entitled
Ilari keep you ! He whose might,
On the King of Serpents seated,
Flashes forth in dazzling light
From the Great Snake's gems repeated :
Ilari keep you ! He whose graces,
Manifold in majesty,
Multiplied in heavenly places
Multiply on earth to see
* This complete anticipation (salajjd lajjtyi} of the line
" Upon whose brow shame is ashamed to sit"
occurs at the close of the Sarga, part of which is here perforce
omitted, along with the whole of the last one.
THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS. 97
Better with a hundred eyes
Her bright charms who by him lies.
What skill may be in singing,
Wlmt worship sound in song,
WJiat lore be taught in loving,
What right divined from wrong :
Such things hath Jayadeva
In this his Hymn of Love,
Which lauds Govinda ever,
Displayed ; may all approve !
THE END OF THE INDIAN SONG OF SONGS.
MISCELLANEOUS ORIENTAL POEMS.
THE RAJPOOT WIFE.
SING something, Jymul Eao ! for the goats are gathered
And no more water is to bring ;
The village-gates are set, and the night is gray as yet,
God hath given wondrous fancies to thee : sing !
Then JymuTs supple fingers, with a touch that doubts
Sets athrill the saddest wire of all the six ;
And the girls sit in a tangle, and hush the tinkling bangle,
While the boys pile the flame with store of sticks.
And vain of village praise, but full of ancient days,
He begins with a smile and with a sigh
Who knows the babul-tree by the bend of the Eavee ? "
Quoth Gunesh, " I ! " and twenty voices, " I ! "
102 THE RAJPOOT WIFE.
" Well listen ! there below, in the shade of bloom and
Is a musjid of carved and coloured stone ;
And Abdool Shureef Khan I spit, to name that man!
Lieth there, underneath, all alone.
" He was Sultan Mahmood's vassal, and wore an Amir's
In his green hadj-turban, at Nungul,
Yet the head which went so proud, it is not in his shroud;
There are bones in that grave, but not a skull !
" And, deep drove in his breast, there moulders with the
A dagger, brighter once than Chundra's ray ;
A Eajpoot lohar whet it, and a Eajpoot woman set it
Past the power of any hand to tear away.
" Twas the Ranee Neila true, the wife of Soorj Dehu,
Lord of the Eajpoots of Nourpoor ;
You shall hear the mournful story, with its sorrow and
And curse Shureef Khan, the soor I "
THE RAJPOOT WIFE. 103
All in the wide Five- Waters was none like Soorj Dehu,
To foeman who so dreadful, to friend what heart so true?
Like Indus, through the mountains came down the
And town-walls fell before them as flooded river-banks ;
But Soorj Dehu the Rajpoot owned neither town nor
His house the camp, his roof-tree the sky that covers all ;
His seat of state the saddle ; his robe a shirt of mail ;
His court a thousand Eajpoots close at his stallion's tail.
Not less was Soorj a Eajah because no crown he wore
Save the grim helm of iron with sword-marks dinted
Because he grasped no sceptre save the sharp tulwar,
Of steel that fell from heaven, for 'twas Indra forged
that blade !
104 THE RAJPOOT WIFE.
And many a starless midnight the shout of " Soorj Dehu "
Broke up with spear and matchlock the Muslim's
And many a day of battle upon the Muslim proud
Fell Soorj, as Indra's lightning falls from the silent cloud.
Nor ever shot nor arrow, nor spear nor stinger's stone,
Could pierce the mail that Neila the Kanee buckled on :
But traitor's subtle tongue-thrust through fence of steel
can break ;
And Soorj was taken sleeping, whom none had ta'en
Then at the noon, in durbar, swore fiercely Shureef Khan
That Soorj should die in torment, or live a Mussulman.
But Soorj laughed lightly at him, and answered, " Work
your will !
The last breath of my body shall curse your Prophet still/'
With words of insult shainef ul, and deeds of cruel kind,
They vexed that Kajpoot's body, but never moved his
THE RAJPOOT WIFE. 105
And one is come who sayeth, " Ho ! Eajpoots ! Soorj is
Your lord is caged and baited by Shureef Khan, the
" The Khan hath caught and chained him, like a beast,
in iron cage,
And all the camp of Islam spends on him spite and
" All day the coward Muslims spend on him rage and
If ye have thought to help him, 'twere good ye go to-
Up sprang a hundred horsemen, flashed in each hand a
In each heart burned the gladness of dying for their
Up rose each Eajpoot rider, and buckled on with speed
The bridle-chain and breast-cord, and the saddle of his
io6 THE RAJPOOT WIFE.
But unto none sad Neila gave word to mount and ride ;
Only she called the brothers of Soorj unto her side,
And said, " Take order straightway to seek this camp
with me ;
If love and craft can conquer, a thousand is as three.
" If love be weak to save him, Soorj dies and ye
For where a Eajpoot dieth, the Kajpoot widows burn."
Thereat the Eanee Neila unbraided from her hair
The pearls as great as Kashmir grapes Soorj gave his
wife to wear,
And all across her bosoms like lotus-buds to see
She wrapped the tinselled sari of a dancing Kunchenee;
And fastened on her ankles the hundred silver bells,
To whose light laugh of music the Nautch-girl darts and
And all in dress a Nautch-girl, but all in heart a queen,
She set her foot to stirrup with a sad and settled mien.
THE RAJPOOT WIFE. 107
Only one thing she carried no Kunchenee should bear,
The knife between her bosoms ; ho, Shureef ! have a
Thereat, with running ditty of mingled pride and pity,
Jymul Kao makes the six wires sigh ;
And the girls with tearful eyes note the music's fall
And the boys let the fire fade and die.
All day lay Soorj the Eajpoot in Shureef s iron cage,
All day the coward Muslims spent on him spite and
With bitter cruel torments, and deeds of shameful kind,
They racked and broke his body, but could not shake
And only at the Azan, when all their worst was vain,
They left him, like dogs slinking from a lion in his pain.
No meat nor drink they gave him through all that
And done to death, but scornful, at twilight-time he lay.
io8 THE RAJPOOT WIFE.
So when the gem of Shiva uprose, the shining moon,
Soorj spake unto his spirit, " The end is coming soon.
" I would the end might hasten, could Neila only know
What is that Nautch-girl singing with voice so known
and low ?
" Singing beneath the cage-bars the song of love and fear
My Neila sang at parting ! what doth that Nautch-girl
"Whence comes she by the music of Neila's tender
She, in that shameless tinsel ? Nautch-girl, sing
again ! "
" Ah, Soorj ! " so followed answer " here thine own
Faithful in life and death alike, look up, and take my
" Speak low, lest the guard hear us ; to-night, if thou
Shureef shall have no triumph, but bear thee company."
THE RAJPOOT WIFE. 109
So sang she like the Koil that dies beside its mate ;
With eye as black and fearless, and love as hot and great.
Then the Chief laid his pale lips upon the little palm,
And sank down with a smile of love, his face all glad
and calm ;
And through the cage-bars Neila felt the brave heart
11 Soorj ! " she cried " I follow ! have patience to
She turned and went. " Who passes? " challenged the
"A Nautch-girl, I." "What seek'st thou?" "The
presence of the Khan ;
" Ask if the high chief-captain be pleased to hear me
And Shureef, full of feasting, the Kunchenee bade bring.
Then, all before the Muslims, aflame with lawless wine,
Entered the Eanee Neila, in grace and face divine ;
i io THE RAJPOOT WIFE.
And all before the Muslims, wagging their goatish chins,
The Eajpoot Princess set her to the " bee-dance " that
" If my love loved me, he should be a bee,
I the yellow champak, love the honey of me!'
All the wreathe! movements danced she of that dance ;
Not a step she slighted, not a wanton glance ;
In her unveiled bosom chased th' intruding bee,
To her waist and lower she ! a Eajpoot, she !
Sang the melting music, swayed the languorous limb :
Shureef s drunken heart beat Shureef s eyes waxed
From his finger Shureef loosed an Ormuz pearl
" By the Prophet," quoth he, " 'tis a winsome girl !
" Take this ring ; and 'prithee, come and have thy pay,
I would hear at leisure more of such a lay."
Glared his eyes on her eyes, passing o'er the plain,
Glared at the tent-purdah never glared again !
THE RAJPOOT WIFE. in
Never opened after unto gaze or glance,
Eyes that saw a Kajpoot dance a shameful dance ;
For the kiss she gave him was his first and last
Kiss of dagger, driven to his heart, and past.
At her feet he wallowed, choked with wicked blood ;
In his breast the katar quivered where it stood.
At the hilt his fingers vainly wildly try,
Then they stiffen feeble ; die ! thou slayer, die !
From his jewelled scabbard drew she Shureef s sword,
Cut atwain the neck-bone of the Muslim lord.
Underneath the starlight, sooth, a sight of dread !
Like the Goddess Kali, comes she with the head,
Conies to where her brothers guard their murdered chief;
All the camp is silent, but the night is brief.
At his feet she flings it, flings her burden vile ;
" Soorj ! I keep my promise ! Brothers, build the pile ! "
H2 THE RAJPOOT WIFE.
They have built it, set it, all as Rajpoots do,
From the cage of iron taken Soorj Dehu ;
In the lap of Neila, seated on the pile,
Laid his head she radiant, like a queen the while.
Then the lamp is lighted, and the ghee is poured
" Soorj, we burn together : my love, my lord ! "
In the flame and crackle dies her tender tongue,
Dies the Eanee, truest, all true wives among.
At the morn a clamour runs from tent to tent,
Like the wild geese cackling when the night is spent.
" Shureef Khan lies headless ! gone is Soorj Dehu !
And the wandering Nautch-girl, who has seen her, who ? "
This but know the sentries, at the " breath of dawn "
Forth there fared two horsemen, by the first was borne
The urn of clay, the vessel that Eajpoots use to bring
The ashes of dead kinsmen to Gungas' holy spring.
LONG years ago so tells Boccaccio
In such Italian gentleness of speech
As finds no echo in this northern air
To counterpart its music long ago,
When Saladin was Soldan of the East,
The kings let cry a general crusade ;
And to the trysting-plains of Lombardy
The idle lances of the North and West
Rode all that spring, as all the spring runs down
Into a lake, from all its hanging hills,
The clash and glitter of a hundred streams.
Whereof the rumour reached to Saladin ;
And that swart king as royal in his heart
As any crowned champion of the Cross
That he might fully, of his knowledge, learn
The purpose of the lords of Christendom,
114 KING SAL A DIN.
And when their war and what their armament,
Took thought to cross the seas to Lombardy.
Wherefore, with wise and trustful Amirs twain,
All habited in garbs that merchants use,
With trader's band and gipsire on the breasts
That best loved mail and dagger, Saladin
Set forth upon his journey perilous.
In that day, lordly land was Lombardy !
A sea of country-plenty, islanded
With cities rich ; nor richer one than thee,
Marble Milano I from whose gate at dawn
With ear that little recked the matin-bell,
But a keen eye to measure wall and foss
The Soldan rode ; and all day long he rode
For Pavia ; passing basilic, and shrine,
And gaze of vineyard- workers, wotting not
Yon trader was the Lord of Heathenesse.
All day he rode ; yet at the wane of day
No gleam of gate, or ramp, or rising spire,
Nor Tessin's sparkle underneath the stars
Promised him Pavia ; but he was 'ware
Of a gay company upon the way,
Ladies and lords, with horses, hawks, and hounds ;
KING S A LA DIN. 115
Cap-plumes and tresses fluttered by the wind
Of merry race for home. " Go ! " said the king
To one that rode upon his better hand,
"And pray these gentles of their courtesy
How many leagues to Pavia, and the gates
What hour they close them ? " Then the Saracen
Set spur, and being joined to him that seemed
First of the hunt, he told the message they
Checking the jangling bits, and chiding down
The unfinished laugh to listen but by this
Came up the king, his bonnet in his hand x
Theirs doffed to him : " Sir Trader," Torel said
(Messer Torello 'twas, of Istria),
" They shut the Paviaii gate at even-song,
And even-song is sung." Then turning half,
Muttered, " Pardie, the man is worshipful,
A stranger too !" "Fair lord ! " quoth Saladin,
" Please you to stead some weary travellers,
Saying where we may lodge, the town so far
And night so near." " Of my heart, willingly,"
Made answer Torel, 4< I did think but now
To send my knave an errand he shall ride
And bring you into lodgment oh ! no thanks,
u6 KING SALADIN.
Our Lady keep you ! " then with whispered hest
He called their guide and sped them. Being gone,
Torello told his purpose, and the band,
With ready zeal and loosened bridle-chains,
Eode for his hunting-palace, where they set
A goodly banquet underneath the planes,
And hung the house with guest-lights, and anon
Welcomed the wondering strangers, thereto led
Unwitting, by a world of winding paths ;
Messer Torello, at the inner gate,
Waiting to take them in a goodly host,
Stamped current with God's image for a man
Chief among men, truthful, and just, and free.
Then he, " Well met again, fair sirs ! Our knave
Hath found you shelter better than the worst :
Please you to leave your selles, and being bathed,
Grace our poor supper here." Then Saladin,
Whose sword had yielded ere his courtesy,
Answered, " Great thanks, Sir Knight, and this much
You spoil us for our trade ! two bonnets doffed,
And travellers' questions holding you afield,
For those you give us this." " Sir ! not your meed,
KING S A LA DIN. 117
Nor worthy of your breeding ; but in sooth
That is not out of Pavia." Thereupon
He led them to fair chambers decked with all
Makes tired men glad; lights, and the marble bath,
And flasks that sparkled, liquid amethyst,
And grapes, not dry as yet from evening dew.
Thereafter at the supper-board they sat ;
Nor lacked it, though its guest was reared a king,
Worthy pro vend in crafts of cookery,
Pastel, pasticcio all set forth on gold ;
And gracious talk and pleasant courtesies,
Spoken in stately Latin, cheated time
Till there was none but held the stranger-sir,
For all his chapman's dress of cramasie,
Goodlier than silks could make him. Presently
Talk rose upon the Holy Sepulchre :
" I go myself," said Torel, " with a score
Of better knights the flower of Pavia
To try our steel against King Saladin's.
Sirs ! ye have seen the countries of the Sun,
Know you the Soldan ? " Answer gave the king,
" The Soldan we have seen 'twill push him hard
If, which I nothing doubt, you Pavian lords
n8 KING SAL A DIN.
Are valorous as gentle ; we, alas !
Are Cyprus merchants making trade to France
Dull sons of Peace/' " By Mary ! " Torel cried,
" But for thy word, I ne'er heard speech so fit
To lead the war, nor saw a hand that sat
Liker a soldier's in the sabre's place ;
But sure I hold you sleepless ! " Then himself
Playing the chamberlain, with torches borne,
Led them to restful beds, commending them
To sleep and God, Who hears Allah or God
When good men do his creatures charities.
At dawn the cock, and neigh of saddled steeds,
Broke the king's dreams of battle not their own,
But goodly jennets from Torello's stalls,
Caparisoned to bear them ; he their host
Up, with a gracious radiance like the sun,
To bid them speed. Beside him in the court
Stood Dame Adalieta ; comely she,
And of her port as queenly, and serene
As if the braided gold about her brows
Had been a crown. Mutual good-morrow given,
Thanks said and stayed, the lady prayed her guest
To taks a token of his sojourn there,
KING SALADIN. 119
Marking her good-will, not his worthiness ;
" A gown of miniver these f urbelows
Are silk I spun my lord wears ever such
A housewife's gift ! but those ye love are far ;
Wear it as given for them." Then Saladin
" A precious gift, Madonna, past my thanks ;
And but thou shalt not hear a ' no ' from me
Past my receiving ; yet I take it ; we
Were debtors to your noble courtesy
Out of redemption this but bankrupts us."
" Nay, sir, God shield you ! " said the knight and dame.
And Saladin, with phrase of gentilesse
Returned, or ever that he rode alone,
Swore a great oath in guttural Arabic,
An oath by Allah startling up the ears
Of those three Christian cattle they bestrode
That never yet was princelier-natured man,
Nor gentler lady ; and that time should see
For a king's lodging quittance royal repaid.
It was the day of the Passaggio :
Ashore the war-steeds champed the burnished bit ;
120 KING S A LA DIN.
Afloat the galleys tugged the mooring-chain :
The town was out ; the Lombard armourers
Eed-hot with riveting the helmets up,
And whetting axes for the heathen heads
Cooled in the crowd that filled the squares and streets
To speed God's soldiers. At the none that day
Messer Torello to the gate came down,
Leading his lady ; sorrow's hueless rose
Grew on her cheek, and thrice the destrier
Struck fire, impatient, from the pavement-squares,
Or ere she spoke, tears in her lifted eyes,
" Goest thou, lord of mine ? " " Madonna, yes ! "
Said Torel, " for my soul's weal and the Lord
Eide I to-day : my good name and my house
Keliant I intrust thee, and because
It may be they shall slay me, and because,
Being so young, so fair, and so reputed,
The noblest will entreat thee wait for me,
Widow or wife, a year, and month, and day ;
Then if thy kinsmen press thee to a choice,
And if I be not come, hold me for dead ;
Nor link thy blooming beauty with the grave
Against thine heart/' " Good my lord ! " answered she,
KING SAL A DIN. 121
" Hardly my heart sustains to let thee go ;
Thy memory it can keep, and keep it will,
Though my one lord, Torel of Istria,
Live, or " " Sweet, comfort thee ! San Pietro
I shall come home : if not, and worthy knees
Bend for this hand, whereof none worthy lives,
Least he \vho lays his last kiss thus upon it,
Look thee, I free it " " Nay ! " she said, " but I,
A petulant slave that hugs her golden chain,
Give that gift Lack, and with it this poor ring :
Set it upon thy sword-hand, and in fight
Be merciful and win, thinking of me/'
Then she, with pretty action, drawing on
Her ruby, buckled over it his glove
The great steel glove and through the helmet bars
Took her last kiss ; then let the chafing steed
Have its hot will and go.
Safe back among his lords at Lebanon,
Well wotting of their quest, awaited it,
And held the Crescent up against the Cross.
In many a doughty fight Ferrara blades
122 KING S A LA DIN.
Clashed with keen Damasc, many a weary month
Wasted afield ; but yet the Christians
Won nothing nearer to Christ's sepulchre ;
Nay, but gave ground. At last, in Acre pent,
On their loose files, enfeebled by the war,
Came stronger smiter than the Saracen
The deadly Pest : day after day they died,
Pikeman and knight-at-arms ; day after day
A thinner line upon the leaguered wall
Held off the heathen : held them off a space ;
Then, over-weakened, yielded, and gave up
The city and the stricken garrison.
So to sad chains and hateful servitude
Fell all those purple lords Christendom's stars,
Once high in hope as soaring Lucifer,
Now low as sinking Hesper : with them fell
Messer Torello never one so poor
Of all the hundreds that his bounty fed
As he in prison ill-entreated, bound,
Starved of sweet light, and set to shameful tasks ;
And that great load at heart to know the days
Fast flying, and to live accounted dead.
One joy his gaolers left him, his good hawk ;
KING S ALA DIN. 123
The brave, gay bird that crossed the seas with him :
And often, in the mindful hour of eve,
With tameless eye and spirit masterful,
In a feigned anger checking at his hand,
The good gray falcon made his master cheer.
One day it chanced Saladin rode afield
With shawled and turbaned Amirs, and his hawks
Lebanon-bred, and mewed as princes lodge
Flew foul, forgot their feather, hung at wrist,
And slighted call. The Soldan, quick in wrath,
Bade slay the cravens, scourge the falconer,
And seek some wight who knew the heart of hawks,
To keep it hot and true. Then spake a Sheikh
" There is a Frank in prison by the sea,
Far-seen herein." " Give word that he be brought,"
Quoth Saladin, " and bid him set a cast :
If he hath skill, it shall go well for him."
Thus by the winding path of circumstance
One palace held, as prisoner and prince,
Torello and his guest : unwitting each,
Nay and unwitting, though they met and spake
124 KING S A LA DIN.
Of that goshawk and this signers in serge,
And chapmen crowned, who knows ? till on a time
Some trick of face, the manner of some smile,
Some gleam of sunset from the glad day gone,
Caught the king's eye, and held it. " Nazarene !
What native art thou ? " asked he. " Lombard I,
A man of Pavia." " And thy name ? " " Torel,
Messer Torello called in happier times,
Now best uncalled." " Come hither, Christian ! "
The Soldan said, and led the way, by court
And hall and fountain, to an inner room
liich with king's robes : therefrom he reached a gown,
And " Know'st thou this ? " he asked. " High lord ! I
Elsewhere/' quoth Torel, " here 'twere mad to say
Yon gown my wife unto a trader gave
Who shared our board." "Nay, but that gown is this,
And she the giver, and the trader I,"
Quoth Saladin; " I ! twice a king to-day,
Owing a royal debt and paying it."
Then Torel, sore amazed, " Great lord, I blush,
Remembering how the Master of the East
Lodged sorrily." " It's Master's Master thou ! "
KING S A LA DIN. 125
Gave answer Saladin, "come in and see
What wares the Cyprus traders keep at home ;
Come forth and take thy place, Saladin's friend."
Therewith into the circle of his lords,
With gracious mien the Soldan led his slave ;
And while the dark eyes glittered, seated him
First of the full divan. " Orient lords,"
So spake he, " let the one who loves his king
Honour this Frank, whose house sheltered your king ;
He is my brother : " then the night-black beards
Swept the stone floor in ready reverence,
Agas and Amirs welcoming Torel :
And a great feast was set, the Soldan's friend
Eoyally garbed, upon the Soldan's hand,
Shining the bright star of the banqueters.
All which, and the abounding grace and love
Shown him by Saladin, a little held
The heart of Torel from its Lombard home
With Dame Adalieta : but it chanced
He sat beside the king in audience,
And there came one who said, " Oh, Lord of lords,
126 KING SALADIN.
That galley of the Genovese which sailed
With Prankish prisoners is gone down at sea."
"Gone down!" cried Torel. "Ay! what recks it,
To fall thy visage for ? " quoth Saladin ;
" One galley less to ship-stuffed Genoa ! "
" Good my liege ! " Torel said, " it bore a scroll
Inscribed to Pavia, saying that I lived ;
For in a year, a month, and day, not come,
I bade them hold me dead ; and dead I am,
Albeit living, if my lady wed,
Perchance constrained." " Certes," spake Saladiu,
" A noble darne the like not won, once lost
How many days remain ? " " Ten days, my prince,
And twelvescore leagues between my heart and me :
Alas ! how to be passed ? " Then Saladin
" Lo ! I am loath to lose thee wilt thou swear
To come again if all go well with thee,
Or come ill speeding ? " " Yea, I swear, my king,
Out of true love," quoth Torel, " heartfully."
Then Saladin, " Take here my signet-seal ;
My admiral will loose his swiftest sail
Upon its sight ; and cleave the seas, and go
KING S A LA DIN. 127
And clip thy dame, and say the Trader sends
A gift, remindful of her courtesies."
Passed were the year, and month, and day ; and passed
Out of all hearts but one Sir Torel's name,
Long given for dead by ransomed Pavians :
For Pavia, thoughtless of her Eastern graves,
A lovely widow, much too gay for grief,
Made peals from half a hundred campaniles
To ring a wedding in. The seven bells
Of Santo Pietro, from the nones to noon,
Boomed with bronze throats the happy tidings out ;
Till the great tenor, overswelled with sound,
Cracked itself dumb. Thereat the sacristan,
Leading his swink&d ringers down the stairs,
Came blinking into sunlight all his keys
Jingling their little peal about his belt
Whom, as he tarried, locking up the porch,
A foreign signor, browned with southern suns,
Turbaned and slippered, as the Muslims use,
Plucked by the cope. " Friend," quoth he 'twas a
Italian true, but in a Muslim mouth
" Why are your belfries busy is it peace
128 KING S A LA DIN.
Or victory, that so ye din the ears
Of Pavian lieges ? " " Truly, no liege thou ! "
Grunted the sacristan, " who knowest not
That Dame Adalieta weds to-night
Her fore-betrothed, Sir Torel's widow she,
That died i' the chain ? " " To-night ! " the stranger said.
" Ay, sir, to-night ! why not to-night ? to-night !
And you shall see a goodly Christian feast
If so you pass their gates at even-song,
For all are asked."
!STo more the questioner,
But folded o'er his face the Eastern hood,
Lest idle eyes should mark how idle words
Had struck him home. " So quite forgot ! so soon !
And this the square wherein I gave the joust,
And that the loggia, where I fed the poor ;
And yon my palace, where oh, fair ! oh, false !
They robe her for a bridal. Can it be ?
Clean out of heart, with twice six flying moons,
The heart that beat on mine as it would break,
That faltered forty oaths. Forced ! forced ! not false
Well ! I will sit, wife, at thy wedding-feast,
And let mine eyes give my fond faith the lie."
KING S A LA DIN. 129
So in the stream of gallant guests that flowed
Feastward at eve, went Torel ; passed with them
The outer gates, crossed the great courts with them,
A stranger in the walls that called him lord.
Cressets and coloured lamps made the way bright,
And rose-leaves strewed to where within the doors
The master of the feast, the bridegroom, stood,
A-glitter from his forehead to his foot,
Speaking fair welcomes. He, a courtly lord,
Marking the Eastern guest, bespoke him sweet,
Prayed place for him, and bade them set his seat
Upon the dais. Then the feast began,
And wine went free as wit, and music died
Outdone by merrier laughter : only one
Nor ate nor drank, nor spoke nor smiled ; but gazed
On the pale bride, pale as her crown of pearls,
Who sate so cold and still, and sad of cheer,
At the bride-feast.
But of a truth, Torel
Eead the thoughts right that held her eyelids down,
And knew her loyal to her memories.
Then to a little page who bore the wine,
He spake, " Go tell thy lady thus from me :
1 30 A7JVG S ALA DIN.
In mine own land, if any stranger sit
A wedding-guest, the bride, out of her grace,
In token that she knows her guest's good- will,
In token she repays it, brims a cup,
Wherefrom he drinking she in turn doth drink ;
So is our use." The little page made speed
And told the message. Then that lady pale
Ever a gentle and a courteous heart
Lifted her troubled eyes and smiled consent
On the swart stranger. By her side, untouched,
Stood the brimmed gold; "Bear this," she said, <f and pray
He hold a Christian lady apt to learn
A kindly lesson." But Sir Torel loosed
From off his finger never loosed before
The ring she gave him on the parting day ;
And ere he drank, behind his veil of beard
Dropped in the cup the ruby, quaffed, and sent.
Then she, with sad smile, set her lips to drink,
And something in the Cyprus touching them,
Glanced gazed the ring ! her ring ! Jove ! how
The wistful eyes of Torel ! how, heartsure,
Under all guise knowing her lord returned,
KING S A LA DIN. 131
She springs to meet him coming ! telling all
In one great cry of joy.
me ! the rout,
The storm of questions ! stilled, when Torel spake
His name, and, known of all, claimed the Bride Wife,
Maugre the wasted feast, and woful groom.
All hearts but his were light to see Torel ;
But Adalieta's lightest, as she plucked
The bridal-veil away. Something therein
A lady's dagger small, and bright, and fine
Clashed out upon the marble. " Wherefore that ? "
Asked Torel ; answered she, " I knew you true ;
And I could live, so long as I might wait ;
But they they pressed me hard ! my days of grace
Ended to-night and I had ended too,
Faithful to death, if so thou hadst not come/'
( 132 )
THE CALIPH'S DRAUGHT.
UPON a day in Kamadan
When sunset brought an end of fast,
And in his station every man
Prepared to share the glad repast
Sate Mohtasim in royal state,
The pillaw smoked upon the gold ;
The fairest slave of those that wait
Mohtasim's jewelled cup did hold.
Of crystal carven was the cup,
With turquoise set along the brim,
A lid of amber closed it up ;
'Twas a great king that gave it him.
The slave poured sherbet to the brink,
Stirred in wild honey and pomegranate,
With snow and rose-leaves cooled the drink,
And bore it where the Caliph sate.
THE CALIPH'S DRAUGHT. 133
The Caliph's mouth was dry as bone,
He swept his beard aside to quaff:
The news-reader beneath the throne,
Went droning on with gliain and leaf.
The Caliph drew a mighty breath,
Just then the reader read a word
And Mohtasim, as grim as death,
Set down the cup and snatched his sword.
" A nn* amratan shureefatee ! "
" Speak clear ! " cries angry Mohtasim ;
" Fe lasr ind y ilj min ulji"
Trembling the newsman read to him
How in Ammoria, far from home,
An Arab girl of noble race
Was captive to a lord of Roum ;
And how he smote her on the face,
And how she cried, for life afraid,
" Ya, Mohtasim ! help, my king ! "
And how the Kafir mocked the maid,
And laughed, and spake a bitter thing,
*34 THE CALIPH'S DRAUGHT.
" Call louder, fool ! Mohtasim's ears
Are long as Barak's if he heed
Your prophet's ass ; and when he hears,
Hell come upon a spotted steed ! "
The Caliph's face was stern and red,
He snapped the lid upon the cup ;
" Keep this same sherbet, slave/' he said,
" Till such time as I drink it up.
Wallah ! the stream my drink shall be,
My hollowed palm my only bowl,
Till I have set that lady free,
And seen that Eoumi dog's head roll/'
At dawn the drums of war were beat,
Proclaiming, " Thus saith Mohtasim,
' Let all my valiant horsemen meet,
And every soldier bring with him
A spotted steed.' " So rode they forth,
A sight of marvel and of fear ;
Pied horses prancing fiercely north ;
The crystal cup borne in the rear !
THE CALIPH'S DRAUGHT. 135
When to Ammoria he did win,
He smote and drove the dogs of Ro' m,
And rode his spotted stallion in,
Crying, " Ldblayld ! I am come ! "
Then downward from her prison-place
Joyful the Arab lady crept ;
She held her tair before her face,
She kissed his feet, she laughed and wept.
She pointed where that lord was laid :
They drew him forth, he whined for grace :
Then with fierce eyes Mohtasim said
" She whom thou smotest on the face
Had scorn, because she called her king :
Lo ! he is come ! and dost thou think
To live, who didsb this bitter thing
While Mohtasim at peace did drink ? "
Flashed the fierce sword rolled the lord's head ;
The wicked blood smoked in the sand.
" Now bring my cup ! " the Caliph said.
Lightly he took it in his hand,
136 THE CALIPH'S DRAUGHT.
As down his throat the sweet drink ran
Mohtasim in his saddle laughed,
And cried, " Taiba asshrab alan !
By God ! delicious is this draught ! "
( 137 )
HINDOO FUNERAL SONG.
CALL on Kama ! call to Eama !
Oh, my brothers, call on Eama !
For this Dead
Whom we bring,
Call aloud to mighty Eama.
As we bear him, oh, my brothers,
Call together, very loudly,
That the Bhtits
May be scared ;
That his spirit pass in comfort
Turn his feet now, calling " Eama,"
Calling " Eama/' who shall take him
When the flames
Make an end :
Earn ! Earn ! oh, call to Eama.
SONG OF THE SERPENT-
COME forth, oh, Snake ! come forth, oh, glittering Snake !
Oh shining, lovely, deadly Nag ! appear,
Dance to the music that we make,
This serpent-song, so sweet and clear,
Blown on the beaded gourd, so clear,
So soft and clear.
Oh, dread Lord Snake ! come forth and spread thy hood,
And drink the milk and suck the eggs ; and show
Thy tongue ; and own the tune is good :
Hear, Maharaj ! how hard we blow !
Ah, Maharaj 1 for thee we blow ;
See how we blow !
SONG OF THE SERPENT-CHARMERS. 139
Great Uncle Snake ! creep forth and dance to-day !
This music is the music snakes love best ;
Taste the warm white new milk, and play
Standing erect, with fangs at rest,
Dancing on end, sharp fangs at rest,
Fierce fangs at rest.
Ah, wise Lord Nag ! thou comest ! Fear thou not !
We make salaam to thee, the Serpent-King,
Draw forth thy folds, knot after knot ;
Dance, Master ! while we softly sing ;
Dance, Serpent ! while we play and sing,
We play and sing.
Dance, dreadful King ! whose kisses strike men dead ;
Dance this side, mighty Snake ! the milk is here !
\Tliey seize the Cobra ty the neck.]
Ah, stiabash ! pin his angry head !
Thou fool ! this nautch shall cost thee dear ;
Wrench forth his fangs ! this piping clear,
It costs thee dear !
SONG OF THE FLOUR-MILL.
TURN the merry mill-stone, Gunga !
Pour the golden grain in ;
Those that twist the Churrak fastest
The cakes soonest win :
Good stones, turn !
The fire begins to burn ;
Gunga, stay not !
The hearth is nearly hot.
Grind the hard gold to silver,
Sing quick to the stone ;
Feed its mouth with dal and bajri,
It will feed us anon.
Sing, Gunga I to the mill-stone,
It helps the wheel hum ;
SONG OF THE FLOUR-MILL. 141
Blithesome hearts and willing elbows
Make the fine meal come :
For you and for me ;
Now it falls white,
Good stones, bite !
Drive it round and round, my Gunga !
Sing soft to the stone ;
Better corn and churrak-working
Than idleness and none.
TAZA BA TAZA.
AKBAE sate high in the ivory hall,
His chief musician he bade them call ;
Sing, said the king, that song of glee,
Taza la taza, now la now.
Sing me that music sweet and free,
Taza ba taza, now ba now ;
Here by the fountain sing it thou,
Taza la taza, now la now.
Bending full low, his minstrel took
The Vina down from its painted nook,
Swept the strings of silver so
Taza la taza, now la now ;
Made the gladsome Vina go
Taza la taza, now ba now ;
TAZA BA TAZA. 143
Sang with light strains and brightsome brow
Taza ba taza, now ba now.
" What is the lay for love most fit ?
What is the melody echoes it ?
Ever in tune and ever meet,
Taza ba taza, now ba now ;
Ever delightful and ever sweet
Taza ba taza, now ba now ;
Soft as the niurinur of love's first vow,
Taza ba taza, now ba now."
11 What is the bliss that is best on earth ?
Lovers' light whispers and tender mirth ;
Bright gleams the sun on the Green Sea's isle,
But a brighter light has a woman's smile :
Ever, like sunrise, fresh of hue,
Taza ba taza, now ba now ;
Ever, like sunset, splendid and new,
Taza ba taza, now ba now!'
" Thereunto groweth the graceful vine
To cool the lips of lovers with wine,
144 TAZA BA TAZA.
Haste thee and bring the amethyst cup,
That happy lovers may drink it up ;
And so renew their gentle play,
Taza ba taza, now ba now ;
Ever delicious and new alway,
Taza ba taza, now bet now."
' Thereunto sigheth the evening gale
To freshen the cheeks which love made pale ;
This is why bloometh the scented flower,
To gladden with grace love's secret bower :
Love is the zephyr that always blows,
Taza ba taza, now ba 'now ;
Love is the rose-bloom that ever glows,
Taza ba taza, novj ba 71010"
Akbar, the mighty one, smiled to hear
The musical strain so soft and clear ;
Danced the diamonds over his brow
To taza ba taza, y now ba now :
His lovely ladies rocked in a row
To taza ba taza, now ba now ;
TAZA BA TAZA. 145
Livelier sparkled the fountain's flow,
Boose sittan la kaum uzo ;
Swifter and sweeter the strings did go,
Mutrib i Utooshnud wa brjo ;
Xever such sininn^ was heard. I trow :
O O "
Taza ba tazcr, now ba now.
THE MUSSULMAN PARADISE.
(From the Arabic of the Fifty-sijcth Surat of the Koran,
entitled " The Inevitable")
WHEN the Day of Wrath and Mercy cometli, none shall
doubt it come ;
Unto hell some it shall lower, and exalt to heaven
When the Earth with great shocks shaketh, and the
mountains crumble flat,
Quick and Dead shall be divided fourfold : on this
side and that.
The " Companions of the Right Hand " (ah ! how joyful
they will be !)
The " Companions of the Left Hand " (oh ! what misery
to see !)
THE MUSSULMAN PARADISE. 147
Such, moreover, as of old times loved the truth, and
' taught it well,
First in faith, they shall be foremost in reward. The
rest to hell.
But those souls attaining Allah, oh ! the Gardens of
Kept to bless them ! Yea, besides the " faithful," many
shall be there.
Lightly lying on soft couches, beautiful with 'broidered
Friends with friends, they shall be served by youths
immortal, who shall hold
" Akwdb, aba reck 9 ' cups and goblets, brimming with
Wine that hurts not head or stomach : this and fruits
of heav'n which shine
Bright, desirable ; and rich flesh of what birds they
Yea! and feasted there shall soothe them damsels
fairest, stateliest ;
148 THE MUSSULMAN PARADISE.
Damsels, having eyes of wonder, large black eyes, like
" Lulu-l-incikn'&n " : Allah grants them for sweet love
those matchless girls.
Never in that Garden hear they speech of folly, sin, or
Only PEACE; " SALAMUN" only; that one word for
PEACE ! PEACE ! PEACE ! and the " Companions of the
Eight Hand " (ah ! those bowers !)
They shall lodge 'mid thornless lote-groves ; under
mawz-trees thick with flowers ;
Shaded, fed, by flowing waters ; near to fruits that
Hanging ever ripe for plucking ; and at hand the
Of those Maids of Heaven the Hftris. Lo ! to these
we gave a birth "
Specially creating. Lo ! they are not as the wives of
THE MUSSULMAN PARADISE. 149
Ever virginal and stainless, howsooften they embrace,
Always young, and loved, and loving, these are.
Neither is there grace
Like the grace and bliss the Black-eyed keep for you
in Paradise ;
Oh, " Companions of the Eight Hand " ! oh ! ye others
who were wise !
DEDICATION OF A POEM FROM
SWEET, on the daisies of your English grave
I lay this little wreath of Indian flowers,
Fragrant for me because the scent they have
Breathes of the memory of our wedded hours ;
For others scentless ; and for you, in heaven,
Too pale and faded, dear dead wife ! to wear,
Save that they mean what makes all fault forgiven-
That he who brings them lays his heart, too, there.
April 9, 1865.
THE RAJAH'S RIDE.
A PUNJAB SONG.
Now is the Devil-horse come to Sindh !
Wall I wah ! gooroo ! that is true !
His belly is stuffed with the fire and the wind,
But a fleeter steed had Eunjeet Dehu !
It's forty koss from Lahore to the ford,
Forty and more to far Jurnmoo ;
Fast may go the Feringhee lord,
But never so fast as Runjeet Dehu !
Eunjeet Dehu was King of the Hill,
Lord and eagle of every crest ;
Now the swords and the spears are still,
God will have it and God knows best !
THE RAJAH'S RIDE.
Rajah Eunjeet sate in the sky,
Watching the loaded Kafilas in ;
Affghan, Kashmeree, passing by,
Paid him pushm to save their skin.
Once he caracoled into the plain,
Wah ! the sparkle of steel on steel !
And up the pass came singing again
With a lakh of silver borne at his heel.
Once he trusted the Mussulman's word,
Wah ! \vah ! trust a liar to lie !
Down from his eyrie they tempted my Bird,
And clipped his wings that he could not ily.
Fettered him fast in far Lahore,
Fast by the gate at the Eunchenee Pill ;
Sad was the soul of Chunda Kour,
Glad the merchants of rich Kurnool.
Ten months Itunjeet lay in Lahore
Wah ! a hero's heart is brass !
Ten months never did Chunda Kour
Braid her hair at the tiring-glass.
THE RAJAH'S RIDE. 153
There came a steed from Toorkistan,
Wall ! God made him to match the hawk !
Fast beside him the four grooms ran,
To keep abreast of the Toorkman's walk.
Black as the bear on Iskardoo ;
Savage at heart as a tiger chained ;
Fleeter than hawk that ever flew,
Never a Muslim could ride him reined.
" Itunjeet Dehu ! come forth from thy hold "
Wall ! ten months had rusted his chain !
" liide this Sheitan's liver cold"
Kunjeet twisted his hand in the inane.
Itunjeet sprang to the Toorkman's back,
Wah ! a king on a kingly throne !
Snort, black Sheitan ! till nostrils crack,
Eajah Ruirjeet sits, a stone.
Three times round the Maidan he rode,
Touched its neck at the Kashineree wall,
Struck the spurs till they spirted blood,
Leapt the rampart before them all !
154 THE RAJAH'S RIDE.
Breasted the waves of the blue Eavee,
Forty horsemen mounting behind,
Forty bridle-chains flung free,
Wah ! wah ! better chase the wind !
Chunda Kour sate sad in Jummoo :
Hark ! what horse-hoof echoes without ?
" Eise ! and welcome Eunjeet Dehu
Wash the Toorkman's nostrils out !
" Forty koss he has come, my life !
Forty koss back he must carry me ;
Eajah Eunjeet visits his wife,
He steals no steed like an Afreedee.
" They bade me teach them how to ride
Wah ! wah ! now I have taught them well ! :
Chunda Kour sank low at his side !
Eunjeet rode the hill.
When he came back to far Lahore
Long or ever the night began
Spake he, " Take your horse once more,
He carries well when he bears a man."
THE RAJAH'S RIDE. 155
Then they gave him a khillut and gold,
All for his honour and grace and truth ;
Sent him back to his mountain-hold
Muslim manners have touch of ruth ;
Sent him back, with dances and drum
Wall ! my Rajah liunjeet Dehu !
To Chunda Kour and his Jummoo home
Wah ! wah ! futtee ! wah, gooroo !
TWO HOOKS FROM THE ILIAD
( 159 )
TWO BOOKS FROM THE ILIAD OF
(Now for the first time translated.}
THEKE exist certain colossal, unparalleled, epic poems
in the sacred language of India, which were not known
to Europe, even by name, till Sir William Jones an-
nounced their existence; and which, since his time,
have been made public only by fragments by mere
specimens bearing to those vast treasures of Sanskrit
literature such small proportion as cabinet samples of
ore have to the riches of a mine. Yet these twain
mighty poems contain all the history of ancient
India, so far as it can be recovered, together with such
inexhaustible details of its political, social, and reli-
gious life that the antique Hindu world really stands
epitomised in them. The Old Testament is not more
interwoven with the Jewish race, nor the New Testa-
ment with the civilisation of Christendom, nor the
Koran with the records and destinies of Islam, than
are these two Sanskrit poems the Mahabluirata
and Eamdyana with that unchanging and teeming
population which Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, rules
160 TWO BOOKS FROM THE
as Empress of Hindustan. The stories, songs, and
ballads, the histories and genealogies, the nursery
tales and religious discourses, the art, the learning,
the philosophy, the creeds, the moralities, the modes
of thought; the very phrases, sayings, turns of ex-
pression, and daily ideas of the Hindu people, are
taken from these poems. Their children and their
wives are named out of them ; so are their cities,
temples, streets, and cattle. They have constituted
the library, the newspaper, and the Bible generation
after generation to all the succeeding and countless
millions of Indian people; and it replaces patriotism
with that race and stands in stead of nationality to
possess these two precious and inexhaustible books, and
to drink from them as from mighty and overflowing
rivers. The value ascribed in Hindustan to these yet
little-known epics has transcended all literary standards
established in the West. They are personified, wor-
shipped, and cited from as something divine. To read
or even listen to them is thought by the devout Hindu
sufficiently meritorious to bring prosperity to his house-
hold here and happiness in the next world ; they are
held also to give wealth to the poor, health to the sick,
wisdom to the ignorant ; and the recitation of certaii).
parvas and slilokas in them can fill the household of
the barren, it is believed, with children. A concluding
passage of the great poem says :
" The reading of this Mahabh&rata destroys all sin and pro-
duces virtue ; so much so, that the pronunciation of a single
ILIAD OF INDIA. 161
shloka is sufficient to wipe away much guilt. This Mah&-
bha>ata contains the history of the gods, of the Kishis in
heaven and those on earth, of the Gandharvas and the Rk-
shasas. It also contains the life and actions of the one God,
holy, immutable, and true, who is Krishna, who is the creator
and the ruler of this universe ; who is seeking the welfare of
his creation by means of his incomparable and indestructible
j)ower ; whose actions are celebrated by all sages ; who has
bound human beings in a chain, of which one end is life and
the other death ; on whom the Rishis meditate, and a know-
ledge of whom imparts unalloyed happiness to their hearts, and
for whose gratification and favour all the daily devotions are
performed by all worshippers. If a man reads the Maha-
bharata arid has faith in its doctrines, he is free from all sin,
and ascends to heaven after his death."
In order to explain the portion of this Indian epic,
here for the first time published in English verse, I
reprint a brief summary of its plot :
The "great war of Bharat" has its first scenes in
Hastinapur. an ancient and vanished city, formerly
situated about sixty miles north-east of the modern
Delhi. The Ganges has washed away even the ruins
of this the metropolis of King Bharat's dominions.
The poem opens with a " sacrifice of snakes ; " but this
is a prelude, connected merely by a curious legend with
the real beginning. That beginning is reached when
the five sons of " King Pandu the Pale " and the five
sons of " King Dhritarashtra the Blind," both of them
descendants of Bharat, are being brought up together
in the palace. The first were called Pandavas, the last
Kauravas, and their lifelong feud is the main subject
of the epic. Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula,
and Sahadeva are the Pandava princes. Duryodhana
1 62 TWO BOOKS FROM THE
is chief of the Kauravas. They are instructed by one
master, Drona, a Brahman, in the arts of war and
peace, and learn to manage and brand cattle, hunt wild
animals, and tame horses. There is in the early portion
a striking picture of an Aryan tournament, wherein the
young cousins display their skill, " highly arrayed, amid
vast crowds," and Arjuna especially distinguishes him-
self. Clad in golden mail, he shows amazing feats with
sword and bow. He shoots twenty-one arrows into the
hollow of a buffalo-horn while his chariot whirls along ;
he throws the " chakra," or sharp quoit, without once
missing his victim ; and, after winning the prizes,
kneels respectfully at the feet of his instructor to
receive his crown. The cousins, after this, march out
to fight with a neighbouring king, and the Pandavas,
who are always the favoured family in the poem, win
most of the credit, so that Yudhishthira is elected from
among them Yuvaraj, or heir apparent. This incenses
Duryodhana, who, by appealing to his father, Dhritar-
ashtra, procures a division of the kingdom, the Pandavas
being sent to Vacanavat, now Allahabad. All this part
of the story refers obviously to the advances gradually
made by the Aryan conquerors of India into the jungles
peopled by aborigines. Forced to quit their new city,
the Pandavas hear of the marvellous beauty of Draupadf,
whose Swayamvara, or " choice of a suitor,'' is about to
be celebrated at Karnpilya. This again furnishes a
strange and glittering picture of the old times; vast
masses of holiday people, with rajahs, elephants, troops,
ILIAD OF INDIA. 163
jugglers, dancing-women, and showmen, are gathered
in a gay encampment round the pavilion of the King
Draupada, whose lovely daughter is to take for her
husband (on the well-understood condition that she
approves of him) the fortunate archer who can strike
the eye of a golden fish, whirling round upon the top
of a tall pole, with an arrow shot from an enormously
strong bow. The princess, adorned with radiant gems,
holds a garland of flowers in her hand for the victorious
suitor; but none of the rajahs can bend the bow.
Arjuna, disguised as a Brahman, performs the feat with
ease, and his youth and grace win the heart of Draupadi
more completely than his skill. The princess hence-
forth follows the fortunes of the brothers, and, by a
strange ancient custom, lives with them in common.
The Pandavas, now allied to the King Draupada and
become strong, are so much dreaded by the Kauravas
that they are invited back again, for safety's sake, to
Hastinapura, and settle near it in the city of Indra-
prastha, now Delhi. The reign of Yudhishthira and
his brothers is very prosperous there ; " every subject
was pious ; there were no liars, thieves, or cheats ; no
droughts, floods, or locusts ; no conflagrations nor in-
vaders, nor parrots to eat up the grain."
The Pandava king, having subdued all enemies, now
performs the Rajasuya, or ceremony of supremacy,
and here again occur wonderfully interesting pictures.
Duryodhana comes thither, and his jealousy is inflamed
by the magnificence of the rite. Among other curious
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incidents is one which seems to show that glass was
already known. A pavilion is paved with " black cry-
stal/' which the Kaurava prince mistakes for water,
and " draws up his garments lest he should be wetted."
But now approaches a turning-point in the epic.
Furious at the wealth and fortune of his cousins,
Duryodhana invites them to Hastinapura to join in a
great gambling festival. The passion for play was as
strong apparently with these antique Hindus as that
for fighting or for love : " No true Kshatriya must ever
decline a challenge to combat or to dice." The brothers
go to the entertainment, which is to ruin their pro-
sperity ; for Sakuni, the most skilful and lucky gambler,
lias loaded the " coupun," so as to win every throw.
Mr. Wheeler's excellent summary again says :
" Then Yudhishtliira and Sakuni sat down to play, and what-
ever Yudhishthira laid as stakes Duryodhana laid something of
equal value ; but Yudhishtliira lost every game. He first lost
a very beautiful pearl ; next a thousand bags each containing
a thousand pieces of gold ; next a great piece of gold so pure
that it was as 'soft as wax ; next a chariot set with jewels and
hung all round with golden bells ; next a thousand war-ele-
phants with golden howdahs set with diamonds ; next a lakh
of slaves all dressed in rich garments ; next a lakh of beautiful
slave-girls, adorned from head to foot with golden ornaments ;
next all the remainder of his goods ; next all his cattle ; and
then the whole of his Raj, excepting only the lands which had
been granted to the Brabmans."
After this tremendous run of ill-luck, he madly
stakes Draupadi the Beautiful, and loses her. The
princess is dragged away by the hair, and Duryodhana
mockingly bids her come and sit upon his knee, for
ILIAD OF INDIA. 165
which Bhima the Pandava swears that he will some
day break his thigh-bone, a vow which is duly kept.
But the blind old king rebukes this fierce elation of the
winner, restores Draupadi, and declares that they must
throw another main to decide who shall leave Hastin-
apura. The cheating Sakuni cogs the dice again, and
the Pandavas must now go away into the forest, and
let no man know them by name for thirteen years.
They depart, Draupadi unbinding her long black hair,
and vowing never to fasten it back again till the hands
of Bhima, the strong man among the Pandavas, are red
with the punishment of the Kauravas. " Then he shall
tie my tresses up again, when his fingers are dripping
with Duhsasana's blood."
There follow long episodes of their adventures in
the jungle till the time when the Pandavas emerge,
and, still disguised, take up their residence in King
Virata's city. Here the vicissitudes of Draupadi as a
handmaid of the queen, of Bhima as the palace wrestler,
of Arjuna disguised as a eunuch, and of Nakula, Saha-
deva, and Yudhishthira, acting as herdsmen and atten-
dants, are most absorbing and dramatic. The virtue of
Draupadi, assailed by a prince of the State, is terribly
defended by the giant Bhima ; and when the Kauravas,
suspecting the presence in the place of their cousins,
attack Virata, Arjuna drives the chariot of the heir
apparent, and victoriously repulses them with his
awful bow Gandiva.
After all these evidences of prowess and the help
1 66 TWO BOOKS FROM THE
afforded in the battle, the King of Virata discovers the
princely rank of the Pandavas, and gives his daughter
in marriage to the son of Arjuna. A great council is
then held to consider the question of declaring war on
the Kauravas, at which the speeches are quite Homeric,
the god Krishna taking part. The decision is to
prepare for war, but to send an embassy first. Mean-
time Duryodhana and Arjuna engage in a singular
contest to obtain the aid of Krishna, whom both of
them seek out. This celestial hero is asleep when they
arrive, and the proud Kaurava, as Lord of Indraprastha,
sits down at his head ; Arjuna, more reverently, takes
a place at his feet. Krishna, awaking, offers to give
his vast army to one of them, and himself as counsellor
to the other ; and Arjuna gladly allows Duryodhana
to take the army, which turns out much the worse
bargain. The embassy, meantime, is badly received;
but it is determined to reply by a counter-message,
while warlike preparations continue. There is a great
deal of useless negotiation, against which Draupadf
protests, like another Constance, saying, " War, war !
no peace ! Peace is to me a war ! " Krishna consoles
her with the words, " Weep not ! the time has nearly
come when the Kauravas will be slain, both great and
small, and their wives will mourn as you have been
mourning." The ferocity of the chief of the Kauravas
prevails over the wise counsels of the blind old king
and the warnings of Krishna, so that the fatal conflict
must now begin upon the plain of Kurukshetra.
ILIAD OF INDIA. 167
All is henceforth martial and stormy in the "parvas"
that ensue. The two enormous hosts march to the
field, generalissimos are selected, and defiances of the
most violent and abusive sort exchanged. Yet there
are traces of a singular civilisation in the rules which
the leaders draw up to be observed in the war. Thus,
no stratagems are to be used ; the fighting men are to
fraternise, if they will, after each combat; none may
slay the flier, the unarmed, the charioteer, or the beater
of the drum ; horsemen are not to attack footmen, and
nobody is to fling a spear till the preliminary challenges
are finished; nor may any third man interfere when
two combatants are engaged. These curious regulations
which would certainly much embarrass Yon Moltke
are, sooth to say, not very strictly observed, and, no
doubt, were inserted at a later age in the body of the
poem by its Brahman editors. Those same interpolaters
have overloaded the account of the eighteen days of
terrific battle which follow with many episodes and
interruptions, some very eloquent and philosophic ;
indeed, the whole IJ/iayavad-Gita conies in hereabouts
as a religious interlude. Essays on laws, morals, and
the sciences are grafted, with lavish indifference to the
continuous flow of the narrative, upon its most impor-
tant portions ; but there is enough of solid and tremen-
dous fighting, notwithstanding, to pale the crimson pages
of the Greek Iliad itself. The field glitters, indeed,
with kings and princes in panoply of gold and jewels,
who engage in mighty and varied combats, till the
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earth swims in blood, and the heavens themselves are
obscured with dust and flying weapons. One by one
the Kaurava chiefs are slain, and Bhima, the giant,
at last meets in arms Duhsasana, the Kaurava prince
who had dragged Draupadi by the hair. He strikes
him down with the terrible mace of iron, after which
he cuts off his head, and drinks of his blood, saying,
" Never have I tasted a draught so delicious as this."
So furious now becomes the war that even the just and
mild Arjuna commits two breaches of Aryan chivalry,
killing an enemy while engaged with a third man,
and shooting Kama dead while lie is extricating his
chariot-wheel and without a weapon. At last none are
left of the chief Kauravas except Duryodhana, who
retires from the field and hides in an island of the lake.
The Pandavas find him out, and heap such reproaches
on him that the surly warrior comes forth at length,
and agrees to fight with Bhima. The duel proves of
a tremendous nature, and is decided by an act of
treachery; for Arjuna, standing by, reminds Bhima,
by a gesture, of his oath to break the thigh of Duryod-
hana, because he had bidden Draupadi sit on his knee.
The giant takes the hint, and strikes a foul blow, which
cripples the Kaurava hero, and he falls helpless to
earth. After this the Pandava princes are declared
victorious, and Yudhishthira is proclaimed king.
The great poem soon softens its martial music into
a pathetic strain. The dead have to be burned, and
the living reconciled to their new lords; while after-
ILIAD OF INDIA. 169
wards King Yudhishthira is installed in high state
with " chamaras, golden umbrellas, elephants, and sing-
ing." He is enthroned facing towards the east, and
touches rice, flowers, earth, gold, silver, and jewels,
in token of owning all the products of his realm.
Being thus firmly seated on his throne, with his cousins
round him, the Eajah prepares to celebrate the most
magnificent of ancient Hindu rites, the Aswamedha,
or Sacrifice of the Horse. It is difficult to raise the
thoughts of a modern and Western public to the
solemnity, majesty, and marvel of this antique Oriental
rite, as viewed by Hindus. The monarch who was
powerful enough to perform it chose a horse of pure
white colour, " like the moon," with a saffron tail, and
a black right ear; or the animal might be all black,
without a speck of colour. This steed, wearing a gold
plate on its forehead, with the royal name inscribed,
was turned loose, and during a whole year the king's
army was bound to follow its wanderings. Whitherso-
ever it went, the ruler of the invaded territory must
either pay homage to the king, and join him with his
warriors, or accept battle ; but whether conquered or
peacefully submitting, all these princes must follow
the horse, and at the end of the year assist at the
sacrifice of the consecrated animal. Moreover, during
the whole year the king must restrain all passion, live
a perfectly purified life, and sleep on the bare ground.
The white horse could not be loosened until the night
of the full moon in Chaitra t which answers to the
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latter half of March and the first half of April, in
fact, at Easter-time ; and it may be observed here that
this is not the only strange coincidence in the sacrifice.
It was thus an adventure of romantic conquest, mingled
with deep religion and arrogant ostentation ; and the
entire description of the Aswamedlia would prove most
interesting. The horse is found, is adorned with the
golden plate, and turned loose, wandering into distant
regions ; where the army of Arjuna for it was he who
led Yudhishthira's forces goes through twelve amaz-
ing adventures. They come, for instance, to a land of
Amazons, all of wonderful beauty, wearing armour of
pearls and gold, and equally fatal either to love or to
fight with. These dazzling enemies, however, finally
submit, as also the Kajah of the rich city of Babhru-
vahan, which possessed high walls of solid silver,
and was lighted with precious jewels for lamps. The
serpent people, in the same way, who live beneath the
earth in the city of Vasuki, yield, after combat, to
Arjuna. A thousand million semi-human snakernen
dwelt there, with wives of consummate loveliness,
possessing in their realm gems which would restore
dead people to life, as well as a fountain of perpetual
youth. Finally, Arjuna's host marches back in great
glory, and with a vast train of vanquished monarchs, to
the city of Hastinapura, where all the subject kings have
audience of Yudhishthira, and the immense prepara-
tions begin for the sacrifice of the snow-white horse.
After all these stately celebrations, it might be
ILIAD OF INDIA. 171
expected that the great poem would conclude with the
established glories of the ancient dynasty. But if the
martial part of the colossal epic is " Kshatriyan," and
the religious episodes "Brahmanic," the conclusion
breathes the spirit of Buddhism. Yudhishthira sits
grandly on the throne ; but earthly greatness does not
content the soul of man, nor can riches render weary
hearts happy. A wonderful scene, which reads like a
rebuke from the dead addressed to the living upon the
madness of all war, occurs in this part of the poem.
The Pandavas and the old King Dhritarashtra being
together by the banks of the Ganges, the great saint
Vyasa undertakes to bring back to them all the
departed, slain in their fratricidal conflict. The spec-
tacle is at once terrible and tender.
But this revealing of the invisible world deepens the
discontent of the princes, and when the sage Vyasa
tells them that their prosperity is near its end, they
determine to leave their kingdom to younger princes,
and to set out with their faces towards Mount Meru,
where is Indra's heaven. If, haply, they may reach it,
there will be an end of this world's joys and sorrows,
and " union with the Infinite " will be obtained. My
translations from the Sanskrit of the two concluding
parvas of the poem (of which the above is a swift sum-
mary) describe the " Last Journey " of the princes and
their " Entry into Heaven ; " and herein occurs one of
the noblest religious apologues not only of this great
Epic but of any creed, a beautiful fable of faithful
172 TWO BOOKS FROM THE
love which may be contrasted, to the advantage of the
Hindu teaching, with any Scriptural representations
of Death, and of Love, " which stronger is than Death."
There is always something selfish in the anxiety of
Orthodox people to save their own souls, and our best
religious language is not free from that taint of pious
egotism. The Parvas of the Mahabharata which con-
tain Yudhishthira's approach to Indra's paradise teach,
on the contrary, that deeper and better lesson nobly
enjoined by an American poet
" The gate of heaven opens to none alone,
Save thou one soul, and it shall save thine own."
These prefatory remarks seemed necessary to intro-
duce the subjoined close paraphrase of the " Book of
the Great Journey," and the " Book of the Entry into
Heaven ; " being the Seventeenth and Eighteenth
Parvas of the noble but, as yet, almost unknown
THE MAHAPRASTHANIKA PARVA OF THE
" THE GREAT JOURNEY."
To Narayen, Lord of lords, le glory givevi,
To sweet Saraswati, the queen in heaven,
To great Vydsa, eke, pay reverence due,
So shall this story its high course pursue.
ILIAD OF INDIA. 173
Then Janmejaya prayed : " Thou Singer, say,
What wrought the princes of the Pandavas
On tidings of the battle so ensued,
And Krishna, gone on high ? "
Answered the Sage :
" On tidings of the wreck of Vrishni's race,
King Yudhishthira of the Pandavas
Was minded to be done with earthly things,
And to Arjuna spake : ' O noble Prince,
Time endeth all ; we linger, noose on neck,
Till the last day tightens the line, and kills.
Let us go forth to die, being yet alive/
And Kunti's son, the great Arjuna, said :
* Let us go forth to die ! Time slayeth all ;
We will find Death, who seeketh other men.'
And Bhimasena, hearing, answered : ' Yea !
We will find Death ! ' and Sahadev cried : ' Yea ! '
And his twin brother Nakula : whereat
The princes set their faces for the Mount.
" But Yudhishthira ere he left his realm,
To seek high ending summoned Yuyutsu,
I 7 4 TWO BOOKS FROM THE
Surnamed of fights, and set him over all,
Regent, to rule in Parikshita's name
Nearest the throne ; and Parikshita king
He crowned, and unto old Subhadra said :
* This, thy son's son, shall wear the Kuru crown,
And Yadu's offspring, Vajra, shall be first
In Yadu's house. Bring up the little prince
Here in our Hastinpur, but Vajra keep
At Indraprasth ; and let it be thy last
Of virtuous works to guard the lads, and guide/
" So ordering ere he went, the righteous king
Made offering of white water, heedfully,
To Vasudev, to Rama, and the rest,
All funeral rites performing ; next he spread
A funeral feast, whereat there sate as guests
Narada, Dwaipayana, Bharadwaj,
And Markandeya, rich in saintly years,
And Yajnavalkya, Hari, and the priests.
Those holy ones he fed with dainty meats
In kingliest wise, naming the name of Him
Who bears the bow ; and that it should be well
For him and his gave to the Brahmanas
ILIAD OF INDIA. 175
Jewels of gold and silver, lakhs on lakhs,
Fair broidered cloths, gardens and villages,
Chariots and steeds and slaves.
" Which being done,
O Best of Bharat's line ! he bowed him low
Before his Guru's feet, at Kripa's feet,
That sage all honoured, saying, ' Take my prince ;
Teach Parikshita as thou taughtest me.
For hearken, ministers and men of war !
Fixed is my mind to quit all earthly state/
Full sore of heart were they, and sore the foJk
To hear such speech, and bitter spread the word
Through town and country, that the king would go ;
And all the people cried, ' Stay with us, Lord ! '
But Yudhishthira knew the time was come,
Knew that life passes and that virtue lasts,
And put aside their love.
" So with farewells
Tenderly took of lieges and of lords
Girt he for travel, with his princely kin,
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Great Yudhishthira, Dharma's royal son.
Crest-gem and belt and ornaments he stripped
From off his body, and for broidered robe
A rough dress donned, woven of jungle-bark ;
And what he did Lord of men ! so did
Arjuna, Bhima, and the twin-born pair,
Nakula with Sahadev, and she in grace
The peerless Draupadi. Lastly these six,
Thou son of Bh&rata ! in solemn form
Made the high sacrifice of ISTaishtiki,
Quenching their flames in water at the close ;
And so set forth, midst wailing of all folk
And tears of women, weeping most to see
The Princess Draupadi that lovely prize
Of the great gaming, Draupadi the Bright
Journeying afoot; but she and all the Five
Rejoiced, because their way lay heavenwards.
" Seven were they, setting forth, princess and king,
The king's four brothers, and a faithful dog.
Those left Hastinapur ; but many a man,
And all the palace household, followed them
The first sad stage ; and, of ttimes prayed to part,
ILIAD OF INDIA. 177
Put parting off for love and pity, still
Sighing ' A little farther ! * till day waned ;
Then one by one they turned, and Kripa said,
f Let all turn back, Yuyutsu ! These must go.'
So came they homewards, but the Snake-King's child,
Ulupi, leapt in Ganges, losing them ;
And Chitranagad with her people went
Mournful to Munipoor, whilst those three queens
Brought Parikshita in.
" Thus wended they,
Pandu's five sons and loveliest Draupadi,
Tasting no meat, and journeying due east ;
On righteousness their high hearts bent, to heaven
Their souls assigned; and steadfast trode their feet,
By faith upborne, past nullah, ran, and wood,
Eiver and jheel and plain. King Yudhishthir
Walked foremost, Bhima followed, after him
Arjuna, and the twin-born brethren next,
ISTakula with Sahadev ; in whose still steps
O Best of Bharat's offspring ! Draupadi,
That gem of women, paced ; with soft, dark face,
Beautiful, wonderful ! and lustrous eyes,
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Clear-lined like lotus-petals ; last the dog,
Following the Pandavas.
" At length they reach
The far Lauchityan Sea, which foameth white
Under Udayachala's ridge. Know ye
That all this while Nakula had not ceased
Bearing the holy bow, named Gandiva,
And jewelled quiver, ever filled with shafts
Though one should shoot a thousand thousand times.
Here broad across their path the heroes see
Agni, the god. As though a mighty hill
Took form of front and breast and limb, he spake.
Seven streams of shining splendour rayed his brow,
While the dread voice said : ' I am Agni, chiefs !
sons of Pandu, I am Agni ! Hail !
O'long-armed Yudhishthira, blameless king,
O warlike Bhima, Arjuna, wise,
O brothers twin-born from a womb divine,
Hear ! I am Agni, who consumed the wood
By will of Narayan for Arjuna's sake.
Let this your brother give Gandiva back,
The matchless bow : the use for it is o'er.
ILIAD OF INDIA. 197
That gem-ringed battle-discus wliich he whirled
Cometh again to Krishna in his hand
For avatars to be ; but need is none
Henceforth of this most excellent bright bow,
Gandiva, which I brought for Partha's aid
From high Varuna. Let it be returned.
Cast it herein ! '
" And all the princes said,
' Cast it, dear brother ! ' So Arjuna threw
Into that sea the quiver ever-filled,
And glittering bow ; then, led by Agni's light,
Unto the south they turned, and so south-west,
And afterwards right west, until they saw
Dwaraka, washed and bounded by a main
Loud-thundering on its shores ; and here Best !
Vanished the God ; while yet those heroes walked,
Now to the north-west bending, where long coasts
Shut in the sea of salt, now to the north,
Accomplishing all quarters, journeyed they ;
The earth their altar of high sacrifice,
Which these most patient feet did pace around
Till Meru rose.
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"At last it rose ! These Six,
Their senses subjugate, their spirits pure,
Wending alone, came into sight far off
In the eastern sky of awful Himavan ;
And, midway in the peaks of Himavan,
Meru, the Mountain of all mountains, rose,
Whose head is heaven ; and under Himavan
Glared a wide waste of sand, dreadful as death.
" Then, as they hastened o'er the deathly .waste,
Aiming for Meru, having thoughts at soul
Infinite, eager, lo ! Draupadi reeled,
With faltering heart and feet ; and Bhfma turned,
Gazing upon her ; and that hero spake
To Yudhishthira : ' Master, Brother, King !
Why doth she fail ? For never all her life
Wrought our sweet lady one thing wrong, I think.
Thou knowest, make us know, why hath she failed ? '
" Then Yudhishthira answered : ' Yea, one thing.
She loved our brother better than all else,
Better than heaven : that was her tender sin,
Fault of a faultless soul ; she pays for that/
ILIAD OF INDIA. 181
" So spake the monarch, turning not his eyes,
Though Draupadf lay dead striding straight on
For Meru, heart-full of ihe things of heaven,
Perfect and firm. But yet a little space,
And Sahadev fell down, which Bhfma seeing,
Cried once again : ' King, great Madri's son
Stumbles and sinks. Why hath he sunk ? so true,
So brave and steadfast, and so free from pride ! '
" ' He was not free/ with countenance still fixed,
Quoth Yudhishthira ; ' he was true and fast
And wise, yet wisdom made him proud ; he hid
One little hurt of soul, but now it kills/
" So saying, he strode on Kunti's strong son
And Bhima, and Arjuna followed him
And Nakula, and the hound; leaving behind
Sahadev in the sands. But Nakula,
Weakened and grieved to see Sahadev fall
His dear-loved brother lagged and stayed ; and next,
Prone on his face he fell, that noble face
Which had no match for beauty in the land,
Glorious and godlike Nakula ! Then sighed
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Bhfma anew : ' Brother and Lord ! the man
Who never erred from virtue, never broke
Our fellowship, and never in the world
Was matched for goodly perfectness of form
Or gracious feature, Nakula has fallen ! '
" But Yudhishthira, holding fixed his eyes,
That changeless, faithful, all-wise king, replied :
' Yea, but he erred. The godlike form he wore
Beguiled him to believe none like to him
And he alone desirable, and things
Unlovely to be slighted. Self-love slays
Our noble brother. Bhima, follow ! Each
Pays what his debt was. '
" Which Arjuna heard,
Weeping to see them fall ; and that stout son
Of Pandu, that destroyer of his foes,
That prince, who drove through crimson waves of war,
In old days, with his chariot-steeds of milk,
He, the arch-hero, sank ! Beholding this,
The yielding of that soul unconquerable,
Fearless, divine, from Sakra's self derived,
ILIAD OF INDIA. 183
Arj una's, Bhfma cried aloud : ' king !
This man was surely perfect. Never once,
Not even in slumber when the lips are loosed,
Spake he one word that was not true as truth.
Ah, heart of gold, why art thou broke ? King !
Whence falleth he ? '
" And Yudhishthira said,
Not pausing : ' Once he lied, a lordly lie !
He bragged our brother that a single day
Should see him utterly consume, alone,
All those his enemies, which could not be.
Yet from a great heart sprang the unmeasured speech.
Howbeit a finished hero should not shame
Himself in such wise, nor his enemy,
If he will faultless fight and blameless die :
This was Arjuna's sin. Follow thou me ! '
" So the king still went on. But Bhima next
Tainted, and stayed upon the way, and sank ;
Yet, sinking, cried behind the steadfast prince :
' Ah, brother, see ! I die ! Look upon me,
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Thy well-beloved! Wherefore falter I,
Who strove to stand ? '
"And Yudhishthira said :
' More than was well the goodly things of earth
Pleased thee, my pleasant brother ! Light the offence,
And large thy virtue ; but the o'er-fed flesh
Plumed itself over spirit. Pritha's son,
For this thou failest, who so near didst gain.'
" Thenceforth alone the long-armed monarch strode,
Not looking back, nay ! not for Bhima's sake,
But walking with his face set for the Mount ;
And the hound followed him, only the hound.
" After the deathly sands, the Mount ! and, lo !
Sakra shone forth, the God, filling the earth
And heavens with thunder of his chariot-wheels.
' Ascend/ he said, ' with me, Pritha's great son ! '
But Yudhishthira answered, sore at heart
For those his kinsfolk, fallen on the way :
' Thousand-eyed, Lord of all the Gods,
Give that my brothers come with me, who fell !
ILIAD OF INDIA. 185
Not without them is Swarga sweet to me.
She too, the dear and kind and queenly, she
Whose perfect virtue Paradise must crown,
Grant her to come with us ! Dost thou grant this ? '
" The God replied : ' In heaven thou shalt see
Thy kinsmen and the queen these will attain
And Krishna. Grieve no longer for thy dead,
Thou chief of men ! their mortal covering stripped,
They have their places ; but to thee the gods
Allot an unknown grace : thou shalt go up
Living and in thy form to the immortal homes/
" But the king answered : ' thou Wisest One,
Who know'st what was, and is, and is to be,
Still one more grace ! This hound hath ate with me,
Followed me, loved me : must I leave him now ? '
" ' Monarch/ spake Indra, ' thou art now as We,
Deathless, divine ; thou art become a god ;
Glory and power and gifts celestial,
And all the joys of heaven are thine for aye :
What hath a beast with these ? Leave here thy hound/
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" Yet Yudhishthira answered : ' O Most High,
Thousand-eyed and Wisest ! can it be
That one exalted should seem pitiless ?
Nay, let me lose such glory : for its sake
1 would not leave one living thing I loved.*
" Then sternly Indra spake : * He is unclean,
And into Swarga such shall enter not.
The Krodhavasha's hand destroys the fruits
Of sacrifice, if dogs defile the fire.
.Bethink thee, Dharmaraj, quit now this beast !
That which is seemly is not hard of heart/
" Still he replied : ' 'Tis written that to spurn
A suppliant equals in offence to slay
A twice-born ; wherefore, not for Swarga's bliss
Quit I, Mahendra, this poor clinging dog,
So without any hope or friend save me,
So wistful, fawning for my faithfulness,
So agonized to die, unless I help
Who among men was called steadfast and just.'
ILIAD OF INDIA. 187
" Quoth Indra : < Nay ! the altar-flame is foul
Where a dog passeth ; angry angels sweep
The ascending smoke aside, and all the fruits
Of offering, and the merit of the prayer
Of him whom a hound toucheth. Leave it here !
He that will enter heaven must enter pure.
Why didst thou quit thy brethren on the way,
And Krishna, and the dear-loved Draupadi,
Attaining, firm and glorious, to this Mount
Through perfect deeds, to linger for a brute ?
Hath Yudhishthira vanquished self, to melt
With one poor passion at the Door of bliss ?
Stay'st thou for this, who didst not stay for them,
Draupadf, Bhima ? '
" But the king yet spake :
' Tis known that none can hurt or help the dead.
They, the delightful ones, who sank and died,
Following my footsteps, could not live again
Though I had turned, therefore I did not turn ;
But could help profit, I had turned to help.
There be four sins, Sakra, grievous sins :
The first is making suppliants despair,
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The second is to slay a nursing wife,
The third is spoiling Brahmans' goods by force,
The fourth is injuring an ancient friend*
These four I deem but equal to one sin,
If one, in coming forth from woe to weal,
Abandon any meanest comrade then/
" Straight as he spake, brightly great Indra smiled ;
Vanished the hound, and in its stead stood there
The Lord of Death and Justice, Dharma's self !
Sweet were the words which fell from those dread lips,
Precious the lovely praise : ' thou true king,
Thou that dost bring to harvest the good seed
Of Pandu's righteousness ; thou that hast ruth
As he before, on all which lives ! Son,
I tried thee in the Dwaita wood, what time
They smote thy brothers, bringing water ; then
Thou prayed'st for Nakula's life tender and just
Not Bhima's nor Arjuna's, true to both,
To Madri as to Kunti, to both queens.
Hear thou my word ! Because thou didst not mount
This car divine, lest the poor hound be shent
Who looked to thee, lo ! there is none in heaven
ILIAD OF INDIA. 189
Shall sit above thee, King ! Bharata's son,
Enter thou now to the eternal joys,
Living and in thy form. Justice and Love
Welcome thee, Monarch! thou shalt throne with
them ! '
" Thereat those mightiest Gods, in glorious train,
Mahendra, Dharma, with bright retinue
Of Maruts, Saints, Aswin-Kuinaras, Nats,
Spirits and Angels, bore the king aloft,
The thundering chariot first, and after it
Those airy-moving Presences. Serene,
Clad in great glory, potent, wonderful,
They glide at will, at will they know and see,
At wish their wills are wrought ; for these are pure,
Passionless, hallowed, perfect, free of earth.
In^such celestial midst the Pandu king
Soared upward, and a sweet light filled the sky
And fell on earth, cast by his face and form,
Transfigured as he rose ; and there was heard
The voice of Narad, it is he who writes,
Sitting in heaven, the deeds that good men do
In all the quarters, Narad, chief of scribes,
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Narad the wise, who laudeth purity,
So cried he : ' Thou art risen, unmatched king,
Whose greatness is above all royal saints.
Hail, son of Pandu ! like to thee is none
Now or before among the sons of men,
Whose fame hath filled the three wide worlds, who
Bearing thy mortal body, which doth shine
With radiance as a god's/
" The glad king heard
Narad's loud praise ; he saw the immortal gods,
Dharma, Mahendra ; and dead chiefs and saints,
Known upon earth, in blessed heaven he saw ;
But only those. ' I do desire/ he said,
That region, be it of the Blest as this,
Or of the Sorrowful some otherwhere,
Where my dear brothers are, and Draupadf.
I cannot stay elsewhere ! I see them not ! '
" Then answer made Purandara, the God :
' thou compassionate and noblest One,
- Best in the pleasures which thy deeds have gained.
ILIAD OF INDIA. 191
How, being as are the Gods, canst thou live bound
By mortal chains ? Thou art become of Us,
Who live above hatred and love, in bliss
Pinnacled, safe, supreme. Sun of thy race,
Thy brothers cannot reach where thou hast climbed !
Most glorious lord of men, let not thy peace
Be touched by stir of earth ! Look ! this is heaven.
See where the saints sit, and the happy souls,
Siddhas and angels, and the gods who live
For ever and for ever/
" ' King of gods/
Spake Yudhishthira, ' but I will not live
A little space without those souls I loved.
Slayer of the demons ! let me go
Where Bhima and my brothers are, and she,
My Draupadf, the princess with the face
Softer and darker than the Kihat-btid,
And soul as sweet as are its odours. Lo !
Where they have gone, there will I surely go/ "
( 192 )
THE ILIAD OF INDIA.
THE SWARGAROHANA PARVA OF THE MAHABHARATA ;
OR, "THE ENTRY INTO HEAVEN."
To Narayen, Lord of lords, le glory given,
To Queen Saraswati le praise in heaven;
Unto Vydsa pay the reverence due,
So may this story its high course pursue.
THEN Janmejaya said : " I am fain to learn
How it befell with my great forefathers,
The Pandu chiefs and Dhritarashtra's sons,
Being to heaven ascended. If thou know'st,
And thou know'st all, whom wise Vyasa taught,
Tell me, how fared it with those mighty souls ? "
Answered the Sage : " Hear of thy forefathers
Great Yudhishthira and the Pandu lords
THE ILIAD OF INDIA. 193
How it befell. When thus the blameless king
Was entered into heaven, there he beheld
Duryodhana, his foe, throned as a god
Amid the gods ; splendidly sate that prince,
Peaceful and proud, the radiance of his brows
Far-shining like the sun's ; and round him thronged
Spirits of light, with Sadhyas, companies
Goodly to see. But when the king beheld
Duryodhana in bliss, and not his own,
Not Draupadi, nor Bhfma, nor the rest,
With quick-averted face and angry eyes
The monarch spake : ' Keep heaven for such as these
If these come here ! I do not wish to dwell
Where he is, whom I hated rightfully,
Being a covetous and witless prince,
Whose deed it was that in wild fields of war
Brothers and friends by mutual slaughter fell,
While our swords smote, sharpened so wrathf ully
By all those wrongs borne wandering in the woods :
But Draupadf s the deepest wrong, for he
He who sits there haled her before the court,
Seizing that sweet and virtuous lady lie !
With grievous hand wound in her tresses. Gods,
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I cannot look upon him ! Sith 'tis so,
Where are my brothers ? Thither will I go ! '
" Smiling, bright Narada, the Sage, replied :
' Speak thou not rashly ! Say not this, King !
Those who come here lay enmities aside.
Yudhishthira, long-armed monarch, hear !
Duryodhana is cleansed of sin ; he sits
Worshipful as the saints, worshipped by saints
And kings who lived and died in virtue's path,
Attaining to the joys which heroes gain
Who yield their breath in battle. Even so
He that did wrong thee, knowing not thy worth,
Hath won before thee hither, raised to bliss
For lordliness, and valour free of fear.
Ah, well-beloved Prince ! ponder thou not
The memory of that gaming, nor the griefs
Of Draupadi, nor any vanished hurt
Wrought in the passing shows of life by craft
Or wasteful war. Throne happy at the side
Of this thy happy foeman, wiser now ;
For here is Paradise, thou chief of men I
And in its holy air hatreds are dead/
ILIAD OF INDIA. 195
" Thus by such lips addressed the Pandu king
Answered uncomforted : ' Duryodhana,
If he attains, attains ; yet not the less
Evil he lived and ill he died, a heart
Impious and harmful, bringing woes to all,
To friends and foes. His was the crime which cost
Our land its warriors, horses, elephants ;
His the black sin that set us in the field,
Burning for rightful vengeance. Ye are gods,
And just; and ye have granted heaven to him.
Show me the regions, therefore, where they dwell,
My brothers, those, the noble-souled, the loyal,
Who kept the sacred laws, who swerved no step
From virtue's path, who spake the truth, and lived
Foremost of warriors. Where is Kunti's son,
The hero-hearted Kama ? Where are gone
Satyaki, Dhrishtadyumna, with their sons ?
And where those famous chiefs who fought for me,
Dying a splendid death ? I see them not.
O Narada, I see them not ! No King
Draupada ! no Virata ! no glad face
Of Dhrishtaketu ! no Shikandina,
Prince of Panchala, nor his princely boys !
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Nor Abhimanyu the unconquerable !
President Gods of heaven ! I see not here
Badha's bright son, nor Yudhamanyu,
Nor Uttamanjaso, his brother dear !
Where are those noble Maharashtra lords,
Eajahs and rajpoots, slain for love of me ?
Dwell they in glory elsewhere, not yet seen ?
If they be here, high Gods ! and those with them
For whose sweet sakes I lived, here will I live,
Meek-hearted; but if such be not adjudged
Worthy, I am not worthy, nor my soul
Willing to rest without them. All, I burn,
Now in glad heaven, with grief, bethinking me
Of those my mother's words, what time I poured
Death-water for my dead at Kurkslietra,
" Pour for Prince Kama, Son I " but I wist not
His feet were as my mother's feet, his blood
Her blood, my blood. O Gods ! I did not know,
Albeit Sakra's self had failed to break
Our battle, where he stood. I crave to see
Surya's child, that glorious chief who fell
By Saryasachi's hand, unknown of me ;
And Bhlma ! ah, ray Bhima ! dearer far
ILIAD OF INDIA. 197
Than life to me ; Arjuna, like a god,
Nakla and Sahadev, twin lords of war,
With tenderest Draupadi ! Show me those souls !
I cannot tarry where I have them not.
Bliss is not blissful, just and mighty Ones !
Save if I rest beside them. Heaven is there
Where Love and Faith make heaven. Let me go ! '
: * And answer made the hearkening heavenly Ones :
' Go, if it seemeth good to thee, dear Son !
The King of gods commands we do thy will.'
1 So saying [the Bard went on] Dharma's own voice
Gave ordinance, and from the shining bands
A golden Deva glided, taking best
To guide the king there where his kinsmen were.
So wended these, the holy angel first,
And in his steps the king, close following.
Together passed they through the gates of pearl,
Together heard them close ; then to the left
Descending, by a path evil and dark,
Hard to be traversed, rugged, entered they
The ' SINNERS' ROAD.' The tread of sinful feet
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Matted the thick thorns carpeting its slope ;
The smell of sin hung foul on them ; the mire
About their roots was trampled filth of flesh
Horrid with rottenness, and splashed with gore
Curdling in crimson puddles ; where there buzzed
And sucked and settled creatures of the swamp,
Hideous in wing and sting, gnat-clouds and flies,
With moths, toads, newts, and snakes red-gulleted,
And livid, loathsome worms, writhing in slime
Forth from skull-holes and scalps and tumbled bones.
A burning forest shut the roadside in
On either hand, and 'mid its crackling boughs
Perched ghastly birds, or flapped amongst the flames,
Vultures and kites and crows, with brazen plumes
And beaks of iron ; and these grisly fowl
Screamed to the shrieks of Prets, lean, famished ghosts,
Featureless, eyeless, having pin-point mouths,
Hungering, but hard to fill, all swooping down
To gorge upon the meat of wicked ones ;
Whereof the limbs disparted, trunks and heads,
Offal and marrow, littered all the way.
By such a path the king passed, sore afeared
If he had known of fear, for the air stank
ILIAD OF INDIA. 199
With carrion stench, sickly to breathe; and lo !
Presently 'thwart the pathway foamed a flood
Of boiling waves, rolling down corpses. This
They crossed, and then the Asipatra wood
Spread black in sight, whereof the undergrowth
Was sword-blades, spitting, every blade, some wretch ;
All around poison trees ; and next to this,
Strewn deep with fiery sands, an awful waste,
Wherethrough the wicked toiled with blistering feet,
'Midst rocks of brass, red hot, which scorched, and pools
Of bubbling pitch that gulfed them. Last the gorge
Of Kutashala Mali, frightful gate
Of utmost Hell, with utmost horrors filled
Deadly and nameless were the plagues seen there ;
Which when the monarch reached, nigh overborne
By terrors and the reek of tortured flesh,
Unto the angel spake he : ' Whither goes
This hateful road, and where be they I seek,
Yet find not ? ' Answer made the heavenly One :
* Hither, great King, it was commanded me
To bring thy steps. If thou be'st overborne,
It is commanded that I lead thee back
To where the Gods wait. Wilt thou turn and mount ? '
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"Then (0 thou Son of Bharat!) Yudhishthir
Turned heavenward his face, so was he moved
With horror and the hanging stench, and spent
By toil of that black travel. But his feet
Scarce one stride measured, when about the place
Pitiful accents rang : ' Alas, sweet King !
Ah, saintly Lord ! Ah, Thou that hast attained
Place with the Blessed, Pandu's offspring ! pause
A little while, for love of us who cry !
bought can harm thee in all this baneful place ;
But at thy coming there 'gan blow a breeze
Balmy and soothing, bringing us relief.
Pritha's son, mightiest of men ! we breathe
Glad breath again to see thee ; we have peace
One moment in our agonies. Stay here
One moment more, Bharata's child ! Go not,
Thou Victor of the Kurus ! Being here,
Hell softens and our bitter pains relax/
" These pleadings, wailing all around the place,
Heard the King Yudhishthira, words of woe
Humble and eager ; and compassion seized
His lordly mind. ' Poor souls unknown ! ' he sighed,
ILIAD OF INDIA. 201
And hellwards turned anew ; for what those were,
Whence such beseeching voices, and of whom,
That son of Pandu wist not, only wist
That all the noxious murk was filled with forms,
Shadowy, in anguish, crying grace of him.
Wherefore he called aloud, ' Who speaks with me ?
What do ye here, and what things suffer ye ? '
Then from the black depth piteously there came
Answers of whispered suffering : c Kama I,
O King ! ' and yet another, ' my Liege,
Thy Bhima speaks ! ' and then a voice again,
' I am Arjuna, Brother ! ' and again,
c Nakla is here and Sahadev ! ' and last
A moan of music from the darkness sighed,
' Draupadf cries to thee ! ' Thereat broke forth
The monarch's spirit, knowing so the sound
Of each familiar voice, * What doom is this ?
What have my well-beloved wrought to earn
Death with the damned, or life loathlier than death
In Narak's midst ? Hath Kama erred so deep,
Bhima, Arjuna, or the glorious twins,
Or she, the slender-waisted, sweetest, best,
My princess, that Duryodhana should sit
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Peaceful in Paradise with all his crew,
Throned by Mahendra and the shining gods ?
How should these fail of bliss, and he attain ?
What were their sins to his, their splendid faults ?
For if they slipped, it was in virtue's way
Serving good laws, performing holy rites,
Boundless in gifts and faithful to the death.
These be their well-known voices ! Are ye here,
Souls I loved best ? Dream I, belike, asleep,
Or rave I, maddened with accursed sights
And death-reeks of this hellish air ? '
For pity and for pain the king waxed wroth.
That soul fear could not shake, nor trials tire,
Burned terrible with tenderness, the while
His eyes searched all the gloom, his planted feet
Stood fast in the mid horrors. Well-nigh, then,
He cursed the gods ; well-nigh that steadfast mind
Broke from its faith in virtue. But lie stayed
Th' indignant passion, softly speaking this
Unto the angel : ' Go to those thou serv'st ;
Tell them I come not thither. Say I stand
ILIAD OF INDIA. 203
Here in the throat of hell, and here will bide
Nay, if I perish while my well-belov'd
Win ease and peace by any pains of mine/
' Whereupon, nought replied the shining One,
But straight repaired unto the upper light,
Where Sikra sate above the gods, and spake
Before the gods the message of the king."
"Afterward what befell?" the prince inquired.
" Afterward, Princely One ! " replied the Sage,
" At hearing and at knowing that high deed
(Great Yudhishthira braving hell for love),
The Presences of Paradise uprose,
Each Splendour in his place, god Sdkra chief;
Together rose they, and together stepped
Down from their thrones, treading the nether road
Where Yudhishthira tarried. Sakra led
The shining van, and Dharrna, Lord of laws,
Paced glorious next. Son of Bharata,
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While that celestial company came down
Pure as the white stars sweeping through the sky,
And brighter than their brilliance look ! Hell's shades
Melted before them; warm gleams drowned the gloom;
Soft, lovely scenes rolled over the ill sights ;
Peace calmed the cries of torment ; in its bed
The boiling river shrank, quiet and clear ;
The Asipatra Vana awful wood
Blossomed with colours ; all those cruel blades,
And dreadful rocks, and piteous scattered wreck
Of writhing bodies, where the king had passed,
Vanished as dreams fade. Cool and fragrant went
A wind before their faces, as these Gods
Drew radiant to the presence of the king,
Maruts ; and Vasus eight, who shine and serve
Ptound Indra ; Eudras ; Aswins ; and those Six
Immortal Lords of light beyond our light,
Th' Adityas ; Saddhyas ; Siddhas, those were there,
With angels, saints, and habitants of heaven,
Smiling resplendent round the steadfast prince.
" Then spake the God of gods these gracious words
To Yudhishthira, standing in that place :
ILIAD OF INDIA. 205
" ' King Yudhishthira ! thou long-armed Lord,
This is enough ! All heaven is glad of thee.
It is enough ! Come, thou most blessed one,
Unto thy peace, well-gained. Lay now aside
Thy loving wrath, and hear the speech of Heaven.
It is appointed that all kings see hell.
The reckonings for the life of men are twain :
Of each man's righteous deeds a tally true,
A tally true of each man's evil deeds.
Who hath wrought little right, to him is paid
A little bliss in Swargn, then the woe
Which purges ; who much right hath wrought, from
The Jittle ill by lighter pains is cleansed,
And then the joys. Sweet is peace after pain,
And bitter pain which follows peace ; yet they,
Who sorely sin, taste of the heaven they miss,
And they that suffer quit their debt at last.
Lo ! We have loved thee, laying hard on thee
Grievous assaults of soul, and this black road.
Bethink thee : by a semblance once, dear Son !
Drona thou didst beguile ; and once, dear Son !
Semblance of hell hath so thy sin assoiled,
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Which passe th with these shadows. Even thus
Thy Bbima came a little space t' account,
Draupadi, Krishna, all whom thou didst love,
Never again to lose ! Come, First of Men !
These be delivered and their quittance made.
Also the princes, son of Bhdrata !
Who fell beside thee fighting, have attained.
Come thou to see ! Kama, whom thou didst mourn,-
That mightiest archer, master in all wars,
He hath attained, shining as doth the sun ;
Come thou and see ! Grieve no more, King of Men !
Whose love helped them and thee, and hath its meed.
Rajas and maharajahs, warriors, aids,
All thine are thine for ever. Krishna waits
To greet thee corning, 'companied by gods,
Seated in heaven, from toils and conflicts saved.
Son ! there is golden fruit of noble deeds,
Of prayer, alms, sacrifice. The most just Gods
Keep thee thy place above the highest saints,
Where thon shalt sit, divine, compassed about
With royal souls in bliss, as Hari sits;
Seeing Mandhuta crowned, and Bhagirath,
Dausliyanti, Bhdrata, with all thy line.
ILIAD OF INDIA. 207
Now therefore wash thee in this holy stream,
Gunga's pure fount, whereof the bright waves bless
All the Three Worlds. It will so change thy flesh
To likeness of th' immortal, thou shalt leave
Passions and aches and tears behind thee there/
"And when the awful Sakra thus had said,
Lo ! Dharina spake, th' embodied Lord of Eight:
" ' Bho ! bho ! I am well pleased ! Hail to thee, Chief !
Worthy, and wise, and firm. Thy faith is full,
Thy virtue, and thy patience, and thy truth,
And thy self-mastery. Thrice 1 put thee, King !
Unto the trial. In the Dwaita wood,
The day of sacrifice, then thou stood'st fast ;
Next, on thy brethren's death and Draupadi's,
When, as a dog, I followed thee, and found
Thy spirit constant to the meanest friend.
Here was the third and sorest touchstone, Son !
That thou shouldst hear thy brothers cry in hell,
And yet abide to help them. Pritlia's child,
We love thee ! Thou art fortunate and pure,
Past trials now. Thou art approved, and they
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Thou lov'st have tasted hell only a space,
Not meriting to suffer more than when
An evil dream doth come, and India's beam
Ends it with radiance as this vision ends.
It is appointed that all flesh see death,
And therefore thou hast borne the passing pangs,
Briefest for thee, and brief for those of thine,
Bhima the faithful, and the valiant twins
Nakla and Sahadev, and those great hearts
Kama, Arjuna, with thy princess dear,
Draupadi. Come, thou best-beloved Son,
Blessed of all thy line ! Bathe in this stream,
It is great Gunga, flowing through Three Worlds/
" Thus high-accosted, the rejoicing king
(Thy ancestor, O Liege ! ) proceeded straight
Unto that river's brink, which floweth pure
Through the Three Worlds, mighty, and sweet, and
There, being bathed, the body of the king
Put off its mortal, coming up arrayed
In grace celestial, washed from soils of sin,
From passion, pain, and change. So, hand in hand
ILIAD OF INDIA. 209
With brother-gods, glorious went Yudhishthir,
Lauded by softest minstrelsy, and songs
Of unknown music, where those heroes stood
The princes of the Pandavas, his kin
And lotus-eyed and lovliest Draupadi,
Waiting to greet him, gladdening and glad.
FROM THE "SAUPTIKA PARVA"
OF THE MAHABHARATA,
"NIGHT OF SLAUGHTER."
To Narayen, Best of Lords, be glory given,
To great Saraswati, the Queen in Heaven ;
Unto Vydsa, too, be paid his meed,
So shall this story worthily proceed.
" Those vanquished warriors then," Sanjaya said,
" Fled southwards ; and near sunset, past the tents
Unyoked ; abiding close in fear and rage.
There was a wood beyond the camp, untrod,
Quiet, and in its leafy harbour lay
The Princes, some among them bleeding still
From spear and arrow-gashes ; all sore-spent,
THE NIGHT OF SLAUGHTER. 211
Fetching faint breath, and fighting o'er again
In thought that battle. But there came the noise
Of Pandavas pursuing, fierce and loud
Outcries of victory whereat those chiefs
Sullenly rose, and yoked their steeds again,
Driving due east ; and eastward still they drave
Under the night, till drouth and desperate toil
Stayed horse and man ; then took they lair again,
The panting horses, and the Warriors, wroth
With chilled wounds, and the death-stroke of their
" Now were they come, my Prince," Sanjaya said,
" Unto a jungle thick with stems, whereon
The tangled creepers coiled ; here entered they
Watering their horses at a stream and pushed
Deep in the thicket. Many a beast and bird
Sprang startled at their feet ; the long grass stirred,
With serpents creeping off; the woodland flowers
Shook where the pea- fowl hid, and where frogs plunged
The swamp rocked all its reeds and lotus-buds.
A banian-tree, with countless dropping boughs
Earth-rooted, spied they, and beneath its aisles
212 FROM THE "SAUPTIKA PARVA."
A pool; hereby they stayed, tethering their steeds,
And dipping water, made the evening-prayer.
" But when the c Day-maker ' sank in the west
And Night descended gentle, soothing Night,
Who comforts all, with silver splendour decked
Of stars and constellations, and soft folds
Of velvet darkness drawn then those wild things,
Which roam in darkness, woke, wandering afoot
Under the gloom. Horrid the forest grew
With roar, and yelp, and yell, around that place
Where Kripa, Kritavarman, and the son
Of Drona lay, beneath the banian-tree ;
Full many a piteous passage instancing
In their lost battle-day of dreadful blood ;
Till sleep fell heavy on the wearied lids
Of Bhoja's child and Kripa. Then these Lords
To princely life and silken couches used
Sought on the bare earth slumber, spent and sad,
As houseless outcasts lodge,
" But, oh, my King !
There came no sleep to Drona's angry son,
THE NIGHT OF SLAUGHTER. 213
Great Aswatthaman. As a snake lies coiled
And hisses, breathing, so his panting breath
Hissed rage and hatred round him, while he lay
Chin uppermost, arm-pillowed, with fierce eyes
Roving the wood, and seeing sightlessly.
Thus chanced it that his wandering glances turned
Into the fig-tree's shadows, where there perched
A thousand crows, thick-roosting, on its limbs ;
Some nested, some on branchlets, deep asleep,
Heads under wings all fearless ; nor, Prince !
Had Aswatthaman more than marked the birds
Save that there fell out of the velvet night,
Silent and terrible, an eagle-owl
With wide, soft, deadly, dusky wings, and eyes
Flame-coloured, and long claws and dreadful beak ;
Like a winged sprite, or great Garood himself.
Offspring of Bharata ! it lighted there
Upon the banian's bough ; hooted, but low
The fury smothering in its throat ; then fell
With murd'rous beak and claws upon those crows,
Eending the wings from this, the legs from that,
From some the heads, of some ripping the crops ;
Till, tens and scores, the fowl rained down to earth
214 FROM THE " SAUPTIKA PARVA."
Bloody and plucked, and all the ground waxed black
With piled crow-carcases ; whilst the great owl
Hooted for joy of vengeance, and again
Spread the wide, deadly, dusky wings.
" Up sprang
The son of Drona, ' Lo ! this owl/ quoth he,
c Teacheth me wisdom, lo ! one slayeth so
Insolent foes asleep. The Pandu Lords
Are all too strong in arms by day to kill ;
They triumph, being many. Yet I swore
Before the King, my Father, I would " kill "
And " kill " even as a foolish fly should swear
To quench a flame. It scorched, and I shall die
If I dare open battle ; but by art
Men vanquish fortune and the mightiest odds.
If there be two ways to a wise man's wish,
But only one way sure, he taketh this ;
And if it be an evil way, condemned
For Brahmans, yet the Kshattriya may do
What vengeance bids against his foes. Our foes,
The Pandavas, are furious, treacherous, base,
Halting at nothing ; and how say the wise
THE NIGHT OF SLAUGHTER. 215
In holy Shasters ? " Wounded, wearied, fed,
Or fasting ; sleeping, waking, setting forth,
Or new arriving ; slay thine enemies ; "
And so again, " At midnight when they sleep,
Dawn when they watch not ; noon if leaders fall ;
Eve, should they scatter ; all the times and hours
Are times and hours good for killing foes." '
" So did the son of Drona steel his soul
To break upon the sleeping Pandu chiefs
And slay them in the darkness. Being set
On this unlordly deed, and clear in scheme,
He from their slumber roused the warriors twain,
Kripa and Kritavarman."
( 216 )
THE MORNING PRAYER.
OUR Lord the Prophet (peace to him !) doth write
Surah the Seventeenth, intituled " Night "
" Pray at the noon ; pray at the sinking sun ;
In night-time pray ; but most when night is done ;
For daybreak's prayer is surely borne on high
By angels, changing guard within the sky ; "
And in another place : " Dawn's prayer is more
Than the wide world, with all its treasured store."
Therefore the Faithful, when the growing light
Gives to discern a black hair from a white,
Haste to the mosque, and, bending Mecca-way,
Recite Al-Fdtihah while 'tis scarce yet day :
" Praise be to Allah Lord of all that live :
Merciful King and Judge ! To Thee we give
THE MORNING PRAYER. 217
Worship and honour ! Succour us, and guide
Where those have walked who rest Thy throne beside :
The way of Peace ; the way of truthful speech ;
The way of Righteousness. So we beseech."
He that saith this, before the East is red,
A hundred prayers of Azan hath he said.
Hear now a story of it told, I ween,
For your souls' comfort by Jelal-ud-din,
In the great pages of the Mesnevl ;
For therein, plain and certain, shall ye see
How precious is the prayer at break of day
In Allah's ears, and in his sight alway
How sweet are reverence and gentleness
Shown to his creatures. Ali (whom I bless !)
The son of Abu Talib he surnamed
" Lion of God," in many battles famed,
The cousin of our Lord the Prophet (grace
Be his !) uprose betimes one morn, to pace
As he was wont unto the mosque, wherein
Our Lord (bliss live with him !) watched to begin
Al-Fdtihah. Darkling was the sky, and straight
The lane between the city and mosque-gate,
2i8 THE MORNING PRAYER.
By rough stones broken and deep pools of rain ;
And there through toilfully, with steps of pain,
Leaning upon his staff an old Jew went
To synagogue, on pious errand bent :
For those be " People of the Book," and some
Are chosen of Allah's will, who have not come
Unto full light of wisdom. Therefore he
Ali the Caliph of proud days to be
Knowing this good old man, and why he stirred
Thus early, e'er the morning mills were heard,
Out of his nobleness and grace of soul
Would not thrust past, though the Jew blocked the
Breadth of the lane, slow-hobbling. So they went,
That ancient first ; and in soft discontent,
After him Ali noting how the sun
Flared nigh, and fearing prayer might be begun ;
Yet no command upraising, no harsh cry
To stand aside ; because the dignity
Of silver hairs is much, and morning praise
Was precious to the Jew, too. Thus their ways
Wended the pair; Great Ali, sad and slow,
Following the greybeard, while the East, a-glow,
THE MORNING PRAYER. 219
Blazed with bright spears of gold athwart the blue,
And the Muezzin's call came " lllahu !
In the mosque, our Lord
(On whom be peace !) stood by the Mehrab-board
In act to bow, and Fdtihah forth to say.
But as his lips moved, some strong hand did lay
Over his mouth a palm invisible,
So that no voice on the Assembly fell.
" Ya ! Rabbi 'lalamwia " thrice he tried
To read, and thrice the sound of reading died,
Stayed by this unseen touch. Thereat amazed
Our Lord Muhammed turned, arose, and gazed ;
And saw alone of those within the shrine
A splendid Presence, with large eyes divine
Beaming, and golden pinions folded down,
Their speed still tokened by the fluttered gown.
GABRIEL he knew, the spirit who doth stand
Chief of the Sons of Heav'n, at God's right hand :
" Gabriel ! why stayest thou me ? " the Prophet said,
" Since at this hour the Fdtihah should be read."
220 THE MORNING PRAYER.
But the bright Presence, smiling, pointed where
Ali towards the outer gate drew near,
Upon the threshold shaking off his shoes
And giving " alms of entry," as men use.
" Yea ! " spake th' Archangel, " sacred is the sound
Of morning-praise, and worth the world's wide round,
Though earth were pearl and silver ; therefore I
Stayed thee, Muhammed, in the act to cry,
Lest Ali, tarrying in the lane, should miss,
For his good deed, its blessing and its bliss."
Thereat th' Archangel vanished : and our Lord
Eead Fdtihah forth beneath the Mehrab-board.
SHLOKAS OF THE HITOPADESA.
(TO FIRST EDITION).
To you, dear Wife to whom beside so well ?
True Counsellor and tried, at every shift,
I bring my " Book of Counsels : " let it tell
Largeness of love by littleness of gift :
And take this growth of foreign sides from me %
(A scholar's thanks for gentle help in toil,)
Whose leaf, " though dark," Wee Milton's Hcvmony,
"Bears a bright golden flower, if not in this soil."
April 9, 1 86 1.
TO THE "BOOK OF GOOD COUNSELS."
THE Hitopadea is a work of high antiquity and
extended popularity. The prose is doubtless as old as
our own era ; but the intercalated verses and proverbs
compose a selection from writings of an age extremely
remote. The MaJidbhdrata and the textual Veds are of
those quoted; to the first of which Professor M. Williams
(in his admirable edition of fheNala, 1860) assigns the
modest date of 350 B.C., while he claims for the Rig-
Veda an antiquity as high as 1 300 B.C. The Hitopade&a
may thus be fairly styled " The Father of all Fables ; "
for from its numerous translations have probably come
Esop and Pilpay, and in latter days Eeinekc Fuchs.
Originally compiled in Sanskrit, it was rendered, by
order of Nushirvan, in the sixth century A.D., into Persic.
From the Persic it passed, A.D. 850, into the Arabic,
and thence into Hebrew and Greek. In its own land
it obtained as wide a circulation. The Emperor Akbar,
impressed with the wisdom of its maxims and the
ingenuity of its apologues, commended the work of
translating it to his own Vizier, Abdul Fazel. That
Minister accordingly put the book into a familiar style,
and published it with explanations, under the title of
the Criterion of Wisdom. The Emperor had also sug-
gested the abridgment of the long series of shlokes
which here and there interrupt the narrative, and the
Vizier found this advice sound, and followed it, like
the present Translator. To this day, in India, the
HitopadcSa, under its own or other names (as the Anvdri
Suhaili), retains the delighted attention of young and
old, and has some representative in all the Indian
vernaculars. A selection from the metrical Sanskrit
proverbs and maxims is here given.
SHLOKAS OF THE HITOPADESA.
This Book of Counsel read, and you shall see,
Fair speech and Sanskrit lore, and Policy.
" Wise men, holding wisdom highest, scorn delights,
more false than fair ;
Daily live as if Death's fingers twined already in thy
" Truly, richer than all riches, better than the best of
Wisdom is ; unbought, secure once won, none loseth
226 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Bringing dark things into daylight, solving doubts
that vex the mind,
Like an open eye is Wisdom he that hath her not
" Childless art thou ? dead thy children ? leaving thee
to want and doole ?
Less thy misery than his is, who lives father to a fool."
" One wise son makes glad his father, forty fools avail
him not :
One moon silvers all that darkness which the silly
stars did dot."
" Ease and health, obeisant children, wisdom, and a fair-
Thus, great King ! are counted up the five felicities
" For the son the sire is honoured ; though the bow-cane
Let the strained string crack in using, and what ser-
vice shall it do ? "
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 227
" That which will not be, will not be and what is to
be, will be :
Why not drink this easy physic, antidote of misery ? "
" Nay ! but faint not, idly sighing, ' Destiny is mightiest/,
Sesamum holds oil in plenty, but it yieldeth none
" Ah ! it is the Coward's babble, ' Fortune taketh, For-
tune gave ; '
Fortune ! rate her like a master, and she serves thee
like a slave."
" Two-fold is the life we live in Fate and Will together
Two wheels bear life's chariot onward Will it move
on only one ? "
" Look ! the clay dries into iron, but the potter moulds
the clay :
Destiny to-day is master Man was master yester-
228 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Worthy ends come not by wishing. Wouldst thou ?
Up, and win it, then !
While the hungry lion slumbers, not a deer comes to
" Silly glass, in splendid settings, something of the gold
may gain ;
And in company of wise ones, fools to wisdom may
"Labours spent on the unworthy, of reward the
labourer balk ;
Like the parrot, teach the heron twenty words, he will
" Ah ! a thousand thoughts of sorrow, and a hundred
things of dread,
By the fools unheeded, enter day by day the wise
" Of the day's impending dangers, Sickness, Death, and
One will be ; the wise man, waking, ponders which
that one will be,"
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 229
" Good things come not out of bad things ; wisely leave
a longed-for ill.
Nectar being mixed with poison serves no purpose
but to kill."
"Give to poor men, son of Kftnti on the wealthy
waste not wealth ;
Good are simples for the sick man, good for nought
to him in health."
" Be his Scripture-learning wondrous, yet the cheat will
be a cheat ;
Be her pasture ne'er so bitter, yet the cow's milk will
" Trust not water, trust not weapons ; trust not clawed
nor horned things ;
Neither give thy soul to women, nor thy life to Sons
Look ! the Moon, the silver roamer, from whose splen-
dour darkness flies,
With his starry cohorts marching, like a crowned king,
through the skies :
230 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
All his grandeur, all his glory, vanish in the Dragon's
What is written on the forehead, that will be, and
" Counsel in danger ; of it
Unwarned, be nothing begun ;
But nobody asks a Prophet,
Shall the risk of a dinner be run ? "
"Avarice begetteth anger; blind desires from her
A right fruitful mother is she of a countless spawn
" Be second and not first ! the share's the same
If all go well. If not, the Head's to blame."
" Passion will be Slave or Mistress : follow her, she
brings to woe ;
Lead her, 'tis the way to Fortune. Choose the path
that thou wilt go."
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 231
" When the time of trouble cometh, friends may of ttimes
irk us most :
For the calf at milking-hour the mother's leg is tying-
" In good-fortune not elated, in ill-fortune not dismayed,
Ever eloquent in council, never in the fight affrayed,
Proudly emulous of honour, steadfastly on wisdom set;
These six virtues in the nature of a noble soul are met.
Whoso hath them, gem and glory of the three wide
worlds is he ;
Happy mother she that bore him, she who nursed him
on her knee."
" Small things wax exceeding mighty, being cunningly
Furious elephants are fastened with a rope of grass-
" Let the household hold together, though the house be
ne'er so small ;
Strip the rice-husk from the rice-grain, and it groweth
not at all."
232 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Sickness, anguish, bonds, and woe
Spring from wrongs wrought long ago."
" Keep wealth for want, but spend it for thy wife,
And wife, and wealth, and all, to guard thy life."
" Death, that must come, comes nobly when we give
Our wealth, and life, and all, to make men live."
" Floating on his fearless pinions, lost amid the noon-
Even thence the Eagle's vision kens the carcass where
it lies ;
But the hour that comes to all things comes unto the
Lord of Air,
And he rushes, madly blinded, to die helpless in the
Bar thy door not to the stranger, be he friend or be
For the tree will shade the woodman while his axe
doth lay it low.
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 233
Greeting fair, and room to rest in ; fire, and water from
Simple gifts are given freely in the house where
good men dwell ;
Young, or bent with many . winters ; rich, or poor,
whate'er thy guest,
Honour him for thine own honour better is he than
" Pity them that crave thy pity : who art thou to stint
When the holy moon shines equal on the leper and
When thy gate is roughly fastened, and the asker
Thence he bears thy good deeds with him, and his
sins on thee doth lay.
v ln the house the husband ruleth; men the Brahman
" master " call ;
Agni is the Twice-born's Master but the guest is
lord of all.
234 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" He who does and thinks no wrong
He who suffers, being strong
He whose harmlessness men know
Unto Swarga such doth go/'
" In the land where no wise men are, men of little wit
are lords ;
And the castor-oil's a tree, where no tree else its shade
" Foe is friend, and friend is foe,
As our actions make them so."
" That friend only is the true friend who abides when
trouble comes ;
That man only is the brave man who can bear the
Words are wind; deed proveth promise: he who
helps at need is kin ;
And the leal wife is loving though the husband lose
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 235
" Friend and kinsman more their meaning than the
idle-hearted mind ;
Many a friend can prove unfriendly, many a kinsman
less than kind :
He who shares his comrade's portion, be he beggar,
be he lord,
Comes as truly, comes as duly, to the battle as the
Stands before the king to succour, follows to the pile
He is friend, and he is kinsman ; less would make the
name a lie."
" Stars gleam, lamps flicker, friends foretell of fate ;
The fated sees, knows, hears them all too late."
" Absent, flatterers' tongues are daggers present, softer
than the silk ;
Shun them! 'tis a draught of poison hidden under
harmless milk ;
236 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
Shun them when they promise little! Shun them
when they promise much !
For, enkindled, charcoal Lurneth cold, it doth defile
" In years, or moons, or half-moons three,
Or in three days suddenly,
Knaves are shent true men go free."
" Anger comes to noble natures, but leaves there no
strife or storm :
Plunge a lighted torch beneath it, and the ocean grows
" Noble hearts are golden vases close the bond true
metals make ;
Easily the smith may weld them, harder far it is to
Evil hearts are earthen vessels at a touch they crack
And what craftsman's ready cunning can unite the
shards again ? "
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 237
" Good men's friendships may be broken, yet abide they
friends at heart ;
Snap the stem of Luxmee's lotus, but its fibres will
" One foot goes, and one foot stands,
When the wise man leaves his lands."
Over-love of home were weakness ; wheresoe'er the
Stalwart arm and steadfast spirit find or make for
him a home.
Little recks the awless lion where his hunting jungles
When he enters them be certain that a royal prey
Very feeble folk are poor folk ; money lost takes wit
All their doings fail like runnels, wasting through the
238 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Wealth is friends, home, father, brother title to re-
spect and fame ;
Yea, and wealth is held for wisdom that it should
be so is shame."
" Home is empty to the childless ; hearts to those who
friends deplore :
Earth unto the idle-minded ; and the three worlds to
" Say the sages, nine things name not : Age, domestic
joys and woes,
Counsel, sickness, shame, alms, penance; neither
Better for the proud of spirit, death, than life with
losses told ;
Fire consents to be extinguished, but submits not to
" As Age doth banish beauty,
As moonlight dies in gloom,
As Slavery's menial duty
Is Honour's certain tomb ;
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 239
As Hari's name and Hara's
Spoken, charm sin away,
So Poverty can surely
A hundred virtues slay."
Half-known knowledge, present pleasure purchased
with a future woe,
And to taste the salt of service greater griefs no
man can know."
" All existence is not equal, and all living is not
Sick men live ; and he who, banished, pines for chil
dren, home, and wife ;
And the craven-hearted eater of another's leavings
And the wretched captive, waiting for the word of
doom, survives ;
But they bear an anguished body, and they draw a
deadly breath ;
And life cometh to them only on the happy day of
240 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Golden gift, serene Contentment ! have thou that,
and all is had ;
Thrust thy slipper on, and think thee that the earth
" All is known, digested, tested ; nothing new is left to
When the soul, serene, reliant, Hope's delusive dreams
" Hast thou never watched, a- waiting till the great
man's door unbarred ?
Didst thou never linger parting, saying many a sad
last word ?
Spak'st thou never word of folly, one light thing thou
would'st recall ?
Eare and noble hath thy life been ! fair thy fortune
" True Eeligion ! 'tis not blindly prating what the
But to love, as God hath loved them, all things, be
they small or great ;
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 241
And true bliss is when a sane mind doth a healthy
And true knowledge is the knowing what is good and
what is ill."
" Poisonous though the tree of life be, two fair blossoms
grow thereon :
One, the company of good men ; and sweet songs of
" Give, and it shall swell thy getting ; give, and thou
shalt safer keep :
Pierce the tank- wall ; or it yieldeth, when the water
" When the miser hides his treasure in the earth, he
doeth well ;
For he opens up a passage that his soul may sink to
" He whose coins are kept for counting, not to barter
nor to give,
Breathe he like a blacksmith's bellows, yet in truth
he doth not live."
242 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Gifts, bestowed with words of kindness, making giving
doubly dear :
Wisdom, deep, complete, benignant, of all arroganey
Valour, never yet forgetful of sweet Mercy's pleading
Wealth, and scorn of wealth to spend it oh! but
these be virtues rare ! "
" Sentences of studied wisdom, nought avail they un-
Though the blind man hold a lantern, yet his foot-
steps stray aside."
" Would'st thou know whose happy dwelling Fortune
entereth unknown ?
His, who careless of her favour, standeth fearless in
his own ;
His, who for the vague to-morrow barters not the
Master of himself, and sternly steadfast to the right-
ful way :
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 243
Very mindful of past service, valiant, faithful, true of
Unto such comes Lakshmi smiling comes, and will
not lightly part."
"Be not haughty, being wealthy; droop not, having
lost thine all ;
Fate doth play with mortal fortunes as a girl doth
toss her ball."
" Worldly friendships, fair but fleeting ; shadows ef the
clouds at noon ;
Women, youth, new corn, and riches ; these be plea-
sures passing soon."
" For thy bread be not o'er thoughtful Heav'n for all
hath taken thought :
When the babe is born, the sweet milk to the mother's
breast is brought.
" He who gave the swan her silver, and the hawk her
plumes of pride,
And his purples to the peacock He will verily
244 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Though for good ends, waste not on wealth a minute ;
Mud may be wiped, but wise men plunge not in it."
" Brunettes, and the Banyan's shadow,
Well-springs, and a brick-built wall,
Are all alike cool in the summer,
And warm in the winter all."
" Ah ! the gleaming, glancing arrows of a lovely woman's
Feathered with her jetty lashes, perilous they pass
thee by :
Loosed at venture from the black bows of her arching
brow, they part,
All too penetrant and deadly for an undefended
" Beautiful the Koil seemeth for the sweetness of his
Beautiful the world esteemeth pious souls for patience
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 245
Homely features lack not favour when true wisdom
And a wife is fair and honoured while her heart is
firm and leal."
: Friend ! gracious word ! the heart to tell is ill able
Whence came to men this jewel of a syllable."
" Whoso for greater quits small gain,
Shall have his labour for his pain ;
The things unwon unwon remain,
And what was won is lost again."
" Looking down on lives below them, men of little store
are great ;
Looking up to higher fortunes, hard to each man
seems his fate."
" As a bride, unwisely wedded, shuns the cold caress of
So, from coward souls and slothful, Lakshmi's favours
246 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Ease, ill-health, home-keeping, sleeping, woman-
service, and content
In the path that leads to greatness these be six
" Seeing how the soorma wasteth, seeing how the ant-
Little adding unto little live, give, learn, as life-time
" Drops of water falling, falling, falling, brim the chatty
Wisdom comes in little lessons little gains make
" Men their cunning schemes may spin
God knows who shall lose or win."
" Shoot a hundred shafts, the quarry lives and flies
not due to death ;
When his hour is come, a grass-blade hath a point to
stop his breath/*
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 247
" Eobes were none, nor oil of unction, when the King
of Beasts was crowned :
'Twas his own fierce roar proclaimed him, rolling all
the kingdom round/'
" What but for their vassals,
Elephant and man
Swing of golden tassels,
Wave of silken fan
But for regal manner
That the ' Chattra' brings,
Horse, and foot, and banner
What would come of kings ? "
" At the work-time, asking wages is it like a faithful
When the work's done, grudging wages is that acting
like a lord?"
" Serve the Sun with sweat of body ; starve thy maw
to feed the flame ;
Stead thy lord with all thy service ; to thy death go,
quit of blame."
248 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
"Many prayers for him are uttered whereon many a
life relies ;
'Tis but one poor fool the fewer when the greedy
" Give thy Dog the merest mouthful, and he crouches
at thy feet,
Wags his tail, and fawns, and grovels, in his eagerness
to eat ;
Bid the Elephant be feeding, and the best of fodder
Gravely after much entreaty condescends that
" By their own deeds men go downward, by them men
mount upward all,
Like the diggers of a well, and like the builders of a
" Rushes down the hill the crag, which upward 'twas so
hard to roll :
So to virtue slowly rises so to vice quick sinks the
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 249
" Who speaks unasked, or comes unbid,
Or counts on service will be chid."
" Wise, modest, constant, ever close at hand,
Not weighing but obeying all command,
Such servant by a Monarch's throne may stand."
" Pitiful, who fearing failure, therefore no beginning
Why forswear a daily dinner for the chance of
stomach-aches ? "
" Nearest to the King is dearest, be thy merit low or
Women, creeping plants, and princes, twine round
that which groweth nigh."
" Pearls are dull in leaden settings, but the setter is to
Glass will glitter like the ruby, dulled with dust are
they the same ? "
2$o PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" And a fool may tread on jewels, setting in his turban
Yet, at selling, gems are gems, and fardels but for
" Horse and weapon, lute and volume, man and woman,
gift of speech,
Have their uselessness or uses in the one who owneth
" Not disparagement nor slander kills the spirit of the
Fling a torch down, upward ever burns the brilliant
flame it gave."
" Wisdom from the mouth of children be it overpast of
What man scorns to walk by lamplight in the absence
of the sun ? "
" Strength serves Eeason. Saith the Mahout, when he
beats the brazen drum,
'Ho! ye elephants, to this work must your mighti-
nesses come/ "
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 251
" Mighty natures war with mighty : when the raging
O'er the green rice harmless pass they, but they lay
the palm-trees low/'
" Narrow-necked to let out little, big of belly to keep
As a flagon is the Vizier of a Sultan should be such/'
" He who thinks a minute little, like a fool misuses
He who counts a cowry nothing, being wealthy, will
" Brahmans, soldiers, these and kinsmen of the three
set none in charge :
For the Brahman, though you rack him, yields no
treasure small or large ;
And the soldier, being trusted, writes his quittance
with his sword,
And the kinsman cheats his kindred by the charter
of the word ;
252 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
But a servant old in service, worse than any one is
Who, by long-tried license fearless, knows his master's
" Never tires the fire of burning, never wearies Death of
Nor the sea of drinking rivers, nor the bright-eyed of
" From false friends that breed thee strife,
From a house with serpents rife,
Saucy slaves and brawling wife
Get thee forth, to save thy life."
" Teeth grown loose, and wicked-hearted ministers, and
Pluck them by the roots together ; 'tis the thing that
" Long-tried friends are friends to cleave to never
leave thou these i' the lurch :
What man shuns the fire as sinful for that once it
burned a church ? "
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 253
" Eaise an evil soul to honour, and his evil bents
Bind a cur's tail ne'er so straightly, yet it curleth up
" How, in sooth, should Trust and Honour change the
evil nature's root ?
Though one watered them with nectar, poison-trees
bear deadly fruit."
" Safe within the husk of silence guard the seed of
That it break not being broken, then the seedling
will not grow."
" Even as one who grasps a serpent, drowning in the
Death to hold and death to loosen such is life's
" Woman's love rewards the worthless kings of knaves
exalters be ;
Wealth attends the selfish niggard, and the cloud rains
on the sea."
254 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Many a knave wins fair opinions standing in fair
As the sooty soorma pleases, lighted by a brilliant
" Where the azure lotus blossoms, there the alligators
In the sandal-tree are serpents. Pain and pleasure
" Rich the sandal yet no part is but a vile thing habits
Snake and wasp haunt root and blossom; on the
boughs sit ape and bear."
" As a bracelet of crystal, once broke, is not mended ;
So the favour of princes, once altered, is ended."
" Wrath of kings, and rage of lightning both be very
full of dread ;
But one falls on one man only one strikes many
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 255
' All men scorn the soulless coward who his manhood
doth forget :
On a lifeless heap of ashes fearlessly the foot is set."
" Simple milk, when serpents drink it, straightway into
venom turns ;
And a fool who heareth counsel all the wisdom of it
" A modest manner fits a maid,
And Patience is a man's adorning ;
But brides may kiss, nor do amiss,
And men may draw, at scathe and scorning."
" Serving narrow-minded masters dwarfs high natures
to their size :
Seen before a convex mirror, elephants do show as
" Elephants destroy by touching, snakes with point of
tooth beguile ;
Kings by favour kill, and traitors murder with a fatal
256 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Of the wife the lord is jewel, though no gems upon
her beam ;
Lacking him, she lacks adornment, howsoe'er her
jewels gleam ! "
" Hairs three-lakhs, and half-a-lakh hairs, on a man so
And so many years to Swarga shall the true wife
surely go ! "
"When the faithful wife, embracing tenderly her
Mounts the blazing pyre beside him, as it were a
Though his sins were twenty thousand, twenty thou-
sand times o'er-told,
She shall bring his soul to splendour, for her love so
large and bold."
" Counsel unto six ears spoken, unto all is notified :
When a King holds consultation, let it be with one
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 257
" Sick men are for skilful leeches prodigals for poison-
Fools for teachers and the man who keeps a secret,
for a King."
" With gift, craft, promise, cause thy foe to yield ;
When these have failed thee, challenge him a-field."
" The subtle wash of waves do smoothly pass,
But lay the tree as lowly as the grass."
"Ten true bowmen on a rampart fifty's onset may
Fortalices keep a country more than armies in the
" Build it strong, and build it spacious, with an entry
and retreat ;
Store it well with wood and water, fill its garners full
" Gems will no man's life sustain ;
Best of gold is golden grain."
258 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Hard it is to conquer nature : if a dog were made a
'Mid the coronation trumpets he would gnaw his
" 'Tis no Council where no Sage is 'tis no Sage that
fears not Law ;
'Tis no Law which Truth confirms not 'tis no Truth
which Fear can awe."
" Though base be the Herald, nor hinder nor let,
For the mouth of a king is he ;
The sword may be whet, and the battle set,
But the word of his message goes free."
" Better few and chosen fighters than of shaven-crowns
For in headlong flight confounded, with the base the
brave are lost."
" Kind is kin, howe'er a stranger kin unkind is stranger
Sores hurt, though the body breeds them drugs
relieve, though desert-grown."
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 259
" Betel - nut is bitter, hot, sweet, spicy, binding,
A demulcent an astringent foe to evils intestine ;
Giving to the breath a fragrance to the lips a
crimson red ;
A detergent, and a kindler of Love's flame that lieth
Praise the Gods for the good betel ! these be thirteen
Hard to meet in one thing blended, even in their
" He is brave whose tongue is silent of the trophies of
his sword ;
He is great whose quiet bearing marks his greatness
" When the Priest, the Leech, the Vizier of a King his
Very soon the King will part with health, and wealth,
26o PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Merciless, or money-loving, deaf to counsel, false of
Thoughtless, spiritless, or careless, changing course
with every breath,
Or the man who scorns his rival if a prince should
choose a foe,
Ripe for meeting and defeating, certes he would
choose him so."
" By the valorous and unskilful great achievements
are not wrought ;
Courage, led by careful Prudence, unto highest ends
" Grief kills gladness, winter summer, midnight-gloom
the light of day,
Kindnesses ingratitude, and pleasant friends drive pain
Each ends each, but none of other surer conquerors
Than Impolicy of Fortune of Misfortune Policy."
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 261
" Wisdom answers all who ask her, but a fool she can-
not aid ;
Blind men in the faithful mirror see not their reflection
" Where the Gods are, or thy Giini in the face of Pain
Cattle, Brahmans, Kings, and Children reverently
curb thy rage/'
" Oh, my Prince ! on eight occasions prodigality is
In the solemn sacrificing, at the wedding of a son,
When the glittering treasure given makes the proud
Or its lustre bringeth comfort to the people in their
Or when kinsmen are to succour, or a worthy work
Or to do a loved one honour, or to welcome back a
262 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Truth, munificence, and valour, are the virtues of a
Eoyalty, devoid of either, sinks to a rejected thing."
" Hold thy vantage ! alligators on the land make none
And the lion's but a jackal who hath left his forest-
" The people are the lotus-leaves, their monarch is the
When he doth sink beneath the waves they vanish
When he doth rise they rise again with bud and
To bask awhile in his warm smile, who is their lord
"All the cows bring forth are cattle only now and
then is born
An authentic lord of pastures, with his shoulder-
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 263
" When the soldier in the battle lays his life down for
Unto Swarga's perfect glory such a deed his soul
Tis the fool who, meeting trouble, straightway Destiny
Knowing not his own misdoing brought his own mis-
chance the whiles."
" ' Time-not-come ' and ' Quick-at-Peril,' these two fishes
'scaped the net ;
1 What- will-be- will-be/ he perished, by the fishermen
" Sex, that tires of being true,
Base and new is brave to you !
Like the jungle-cows ye range,
Changing food for sake of change."
" That which will not be will not be, and what is to be
will be :
Why not drink this easy physic, antidote of misery ? "
264 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Whoso trusts, for service rendered, or fair words, an
Wakes from folly like one falling in his slumber from
"Fellow be with kindly foemen, rather than with
friends unkind ;
Friend and foeman are distinguished not by title but
" Whoso setting duty highest, speaks at need unwel-
Disregarding fear and favour, such an one may suc-
" Brahmans for their lore have honour; Kshattriyas for
their bravery ;
Vaisyas for their t hard-earned treasure ; Sudras for
" Seven foemen of all foemen, very hard to vanquish be :
The Truth-teller, the Just-dweller, and the man from
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 265
Subtle, self-sustained, and counting frequent well-
And the man of many kinsmen keep the peace with
such as these."
" For the man with many kinsmen answers by them
all attacks ;
As the bambu, in the bambus safely sheltered, scorns
" Whoso hath the gift of giving wisely, equitably, well ;
Whoso, learning all men's secrets, unto none his own
will tell :
Whoso, ever cold and courtly, utters nothing that
Such an one may rule his fellows unto Earth's
" Cheating them that truly trust you, 'tis a clumsy
Any knave may slay the child who climbs and
slumbers on his knee."
266 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
" Hunger hears not, cares not, spares not ; no boon of
the starving beg ;
When the snake is pinched with craving, verily she
eats her egg."
" Of the Tree of State the root
Kings are feed what brings the fruit/'
" Courtesy may cover malice ; on their heads the wood-
Meaning all the while to burn them, logs and faggots
oh, my King !
And the strong and subtle river, rippling at the cedar's
While it seems to lave and kiss it, undermines the
u Weep not! Life the hired nurse is, holding us a
little space ;
Death, the mother who doth take us back into our
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 267
" Gone, with all their gauds and glories : gone, like
peasants, are the Kings,
Whereunto this earth was witness, whereof all her
" For the body, daily wasting, is not seen to waste away,
Until wasted ; as in water set a jar of unbaked clay."
" And day after day man goeth near and nearer to his
As step after step the victim thither where its slayers
" Like as a plank of drift-wood
Tossed on the watery main,
Another plank encountered,
Meets, touches, parts again ;
So tossed, and drifting ever,
On life's unresting sea,
Men meet, and greet, and sever,
268 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
IC Halt, traveller ! rest i' the shade : then up and leave
Stay, Soul ! take fill of love ; nor losing, grieve it ! "
" Each beloved object born
Sets within the heart a thorn,
Bleeding, when they be uptorn."
" If thine own house, this rotting frame, doth wither,
Thinking another's lasting goest thou thither ? "
" Meeting makes a parting sure,
Life is nothing but death's door."
" As the downward-running rivers never turn and never
So the days and nights stream deathward, bearing
human lives away/'
" Bethinking him of darkness grim, and death's un-
A man strong-souled relaxes hold, like leather soaked
PROVERBIAL WISDOM. 269
" From the day, the hour, the minute,
Each life quickens in the womb ;
Thence its march, no falter in it,
Goes straight forward to the tomb/'
" An 'twere not so, would sorrow cease with years ?
Wisdom sees right what want of knowledge fears."
" Seek not the wild, sad heart ! thy passions haunt it ;
Play hermit in thy house with heart undaunted ;
A governed heart, thinking no thought but good,
Makes crowded houses holy solitude."
" Away with those that preach to us the washing off
Thine own self is the stream for thee to make ablu-
tions in :
In self-restraint it rises pure flows clear in tide of
By widening banks of wisdom, in waves of peace and
270 PROVERBIAL WISDOM.
Bathe there, thou son of Pandu ! with reverence and
For never yet was water wet could wash the spirit
" Thunder for nothing, like December's cloud,
Passes unmarked : strike hard, but speak not loud."
" Minds deceived by evil natures, from the good their
faith withhold ;
When hot conjee once has burned them, children blow
upon the cold."
BALLANTYNfi, HANSON AND CO.
EDINBURGH AMD LONDON
g tfje same Sutfjor.
Popular Edition, fcap. 8vo, paper, price 2s. Gil. Library Edition,
crown 8vo, cloth, price 7s. 6d.
THE LIGHT OF ASIA;
OR, THE GREAT RENUNCIATION.
ing the Lii'e and Teaching of Gautama, Prince of India and
Founder of Buddhism.
(As told in verse by an Indian Buddhist.)
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
"It is a work of great beauty. It tells a story of intense interest, which
never flags for a moment ; its descriptions are drawn by the hand of u master
with the eye of a poet and the familiarity of an expert with the objects de-
senbed ; its tone is so lofty that there is nothing with which to compare it
but the New Testament ; it is full of variety, now picturesque, now pathetic,
now rising into the noblest realms of thought and aspiration ; it finds lan-
guage penetrating, fluent, elevated, impassioned, musical always, to clothe
its varied thoughts and sentiments." OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, Interna-
tional Review, October 1879.
*' Mr. Arnold, one of the most musical and thoughtful of modern writers
of verse, has given to the world in ' The Light of Asia,' a poem which is for
many reasons remarkable. . . . Entirely apart from the vivid beauty of the
scene as set forth in these noble lines, it is worthy of note with what inimi-
table success the figure of onomatopoeia is employed : it is impossible to con-
ceive of anything more perfect in this way than such a line as that descrip-
tive of the successive rises of the (Himalayan) precipice. . . . Not the least
of his mei its is that he writes such pure and delicious English. . . . 'The
Light of Asia ' is a noble and worthy poem. " Morning Post, September 17,
" At the same time it may be said that there is scarcely a line which does
not bear the stamp of the genuine poet, whether we regard the general lofti-
ness of the tone, the nobility of the sentiment expressed, the richness of
imagery, or the music of rhythm. If the sweetness of language sometimes
cloys our Northern taste, which requires more of the rugged and heroic aa a
foil to the ethereal, the fault must not be charged upon the singer, but upon
the subject with which he deals." Examiner, August 30, 1879.
" But it is not merely on account of its subject that this poem deserves
attention ; it is full of poetic merit, and its descriptions are often exceedingly
beautiful." Athenasum, August 9, 1879.
41 No poetical work so thoroughly original as that of Mr. Edwin Arnold has
appeared for many years. And it is not only original in its character, but
strikingly beautiful in its language. The author by this poem takes a rank
as a poet which probably would not have been predicted for him even by the
most ardent admirer of his * Indian Song of Songs.' " Northern Whiff, July
24, 1879. %
" .... In his finer moments he writes with a power, a movement, and a
variety of cadence not easily to be matched in days when the art of blank
verse is so little legitimately studied ; and with a vigorous beauty of diction,
inclining to the Saxon forms but not thereby losing scholarly elegance. . . .
Man and nature, in Mr. Arnold's book, are thoroughly Indian. Not the
least among the great merits of his work is its glowing local colour." New
Quarterly Magazine, October 1879.
" Mr. Arnold's magnificent poem, wjiich is alike remarkable for its prodi-
gious erudition, its vivid local colour, and the exquisite polish arid melody
of its rhythm." Liverpool Mail, July 19, 1879.
" * The Light of Asia' is charming to read, suggestive of thought, and de-
servingpof study. . . . For elevation of thought, uniformly picturesque and
appropriate expression, and faultless music of rhythm these qualities sus-
tained throughout a long and symmetrical composition ' The Light of Asia 1
is altogether without a rival in contemporary literature. No such poem has
appeared since 'Childe Harold."' The Pioneer, Allahabad.
"... As pure as anything in Tennyson's 'Princess.'" . . . Bombay
Gazetto- Summary, September 12, 1879.
" Mr. Arnold has constructed a poem, which for affluence of imagination,
splendour of diction, and virile descriptive power, will not be easily matched
among the most remarkable productions in the literature of the day." New
York Daily Tribune.
"... A poem equally striking for the novelty of its conception, its vigour
of execution, and the exquisite beauty of its descriptive passages." New
York Daily Tribune, August 12, 1879.
"'The Light of Asia' is a remarkable poem, and worthy of a place
amongst the great poems of, our time. Mr. Arnold is far more than * a coiner
of sweet words' he is the exponent of noble impressions. He in a scholai
and a philosopher ; but he is also a true singer. " Daily Telegraph, August
"With much skill Mr. Arnold has illustrated his narrative with a series
at Indian pictures, the fascination of which will be felt by those who know
India." Pall Mall Gazette, August 19, 1879.
" Mr. Arnold's skill has not failed him. With a sure hand he has limned
for us a portrait which is admirable in its fidelity to the accepted traditions
of the original, which his knowledge of India and her people has enabled him
to surround with the proper accessories, without once descending to the
commonplace. . . . On these, as on other points, however, the author's wide
knowledge of India and genuine interest in his subject enhance the value of
his researches, and entitle his opinions to respect, whilst his powers of
description carry the reader with them. In fact, in reading this remarkable
poem, many will in imagination be transported again to the East, or, revive
with pleasure, in wonderful freshness, long dormant memories of that far-off
land.'* Observer, August 31, 1879.
"We must testify to the grace and beauty of the poem. It is in truth
'an Idyll of the King,' with Gautama instead of Arthur for its hero, nnd
Nirvana iu stead of the Christian ideal and the Holy Graal as his aim.
There is a fragrance of Tennyson's best poem about it, but there Is no slavish
imitation of the Laureate." Edinburgh Courant.
" In Mr. Edwin Arnold, Indian poetry and Indian thought have at length
found a worthy English exponent. He brings to his work the facility of ft
ready pen, a thorough knowledge of his subject, a great sympathy for the
people of this country, and a command of public attention at home."
14 It is as a poem first, and afterwards as a fine ethical study, that the work
demands attention, and in both of these characters it is a work of an unusu-
ally high order." Evening Post, New York, October 2, 1879.
*' One is the more surprised ill reading this poem, to learn that the writer
has created this lovely work of art, not in the stillness of a country solitude,
nor amid the cloistered aisles of universities, but right in the throng and
uproar of the bustling metropolis." Springfield Sunday Republican, August
24, 1879. ^
"Mr. Arnold may be congratulated on the successful accomplishment of
the difficult task he has set himself ; and those who feel at all in sympathy
with the subject will be able to appreciate the beauty of the picture he has
drawn." Academy, August 9, 1879. *
" We have no doubt that this poem will make its mark, for it worthily
treats a great theme. Future years may perhaps see it translated into some
languages of the East in those countries where the name of Buddha is vene-
rated, and his doctrine, with many adjuncts and corruptions, is followed to
this day." Tablet, August 9, 1879.
' ' * The Light of Asia ' should have many readers, and it certainly will add
not a little to Mr. Arnold's literary reputation." Eastern Morning News,
September 2, 1879.
"This is no criticism of a religion supposed to be false, but the sympathetic
presentment of a religion, so much of which is true, as from the mouth of a
votary." Western Morning News.
" In looking through the volume, one is struck with wonder at the mar-
vellous richness of its imagery, its profundity of thought and purity of
diction. . . . Thus ends one of the most remarkable books of the day, and
one which is destined to do a great work in enlightening English readers."
Boston Evening Transcript, October 8, 1879.
"For brilliancy of imagination, flow and picturesqueness of language,
strength and vigour of expression, depth of thought, and fascinating melody
of versification, this work stands almost without a rival in modern poetry.
. . . The local colour of the scenes amid which the story passes is reproduced
with a skill little short of marvellous. Grace, impressive dignity, nobility
of sentiment, and the highest religious aspirations distinguish the tone of
this masterly poem from beginning to end. It often rises to sublimity, and
never sinks below loftiness either in thought or expression. . . . Every page
of this volume will afford pleasure to the cultured reader, and to the lover
of true poetry it will be a perpetual delight." Boston Saturday Evening
Gazette, October 11, 1879.
" It is as a poem first, and afterwards as a fine ethical study, that the work
demands attention, and in both of these characters it is a work of an un-
usually high order, a great work despite certain inequalities of execution,
which are not worth pointing out in detail." Troy (N. Y.) Press, October
" It must be said of Mr. Arnold, however, that he made remarkable use of
his time while in Hindostan, winning not only the decoration of the Order
of the Star of India, but, by patient investigation concerning the religion and
the language of the ruling classes and tribes, now giving to the world an epic
glowing in its imagery, exquisite in its description, and of rare excellence in
its religious, philosophical, and literary aspects. "The Weekly Item, Phila-
delphia, October 18, 1879.
"Nothing like it, indeed, has appeared for many years, and whether we
consider the majesty of its theme, the grace and splendour of its workman-
ship, the freshness of its details, or the circumstances of its authorship, it is
alike one of the remarkable works of modern literature." Boston Literary
World, October 11, 1879.
"... The really sublime poem which Mr. Arnold puts into the mouth of
a Buddhist devotee who speaks throughout, now in eloquent and highly
ornate description, anon in vivid narrative,igaiu in rapt worship. ...
" We cannot spare the space to enter upon the story of Buddha as told by
Mr. Arnold ; since it is a duty to point out how artistically he has wrought
up his epic with many a gem of purest ray serene, and passages that thrill
through as we read them and recall the glorious Orient scenes that gave such
thoughts their birth. ...
"To criticise is impossible ; we can only admire and wonder at the wealth
and the truth of epithet at the command of one who has composed his poem
' in the brief interval of days without leisure.' Yet, if we do not err, * The
Light af Asia ' will live in 6ur language for many a long year. It is one of
those Vorks which grow upon the attention. It has within it enduring
merits, and it will be more popular and better comprehended a generation
hence than it is to-day. Many are the names of promising men who st:m<l
upon the list of the winners of the 'Newdigate.' By this one work Mr.
Edwin Arnold overtops them all and enters the narrow circle of the Masters."
Morning Advertiser, October 31, 1879.
"At last we have|i classic, a work of inspiration and power, which must
broaden and brighten humanity, and give delight to many generations. The
praise with which the higher critics have greeted 'The Light of Asia' will
not prepare the reader for disappointment. As editor of the London Daily
Tefepraph, the author can hardly be called a man of leisure ; yet 1m lofty
verse seems to have sung itself out of the regions of mystic calm ; and even
as a piece of literary work it wears an elegant nnih and masterly complete-
ness . . .
"Surely it is by such messages as this poem bears that the Christians who
believe too narrowly, and the sceptics who believe not at all, learn the truth
of what our own Lowell sang :
' God sends His teachers into every age and clirnc,
With revelations suited to their growth.'
"The essence of the life of Prince Siddartha or Gautama is here distilled
from the mingled mass of historic fact and legend, without loss of the rich
aroma." The Christian Reyister, Boston, October 16, 1H79.
". . . It is as worthy of his pen as the poet has showed himself worthy
of the subject. There is a unity of Oriental colouring in the descriptive
portion of the work, a truthfulness of motive eviuced in the masterly
handling of Buddha's character, which are us precious as unique ; inasmuch
as they present this charactapfnj^jj^first time in the history of Western
literatuie. in the totitlgSpST/ttff fu^TM^iated beauty." Tkc Theosopkist,